CBS Sports Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers have traded Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for Prince Fielder. Here is an excerpt from his piece:
The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, CBSSports.com has learned.
There was no word yet of any other players being involved, so it may just be a one-for-one swap of stars. While Fielder's salary is much larger, it wasn't certain there was significant money involved, either. The Tigers may be trying to free up money with the trade beyond solving their second-base hole.
I imagine another player and money might be involved in this deal.
Update: it is being reported that the Rangers will get $30 million with Fielder in exchange for Kinsler. The $30 million applied to what remains on Fielders contract (7 years for $168 million) reduces his contract to just under $20 million per season for the Rangers. Not bad.
This deal improves Fielder's fantasy value in a big way as he leaves Comerica Park, a pitchers park, to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, a much better hitters park. Rangers Ballpark didn't play as the better hitters park in 2013, but historically it has been the better park for hitters. I currently have Fielder ranked as my #4 fantasy first baseman for 2014, behind Chris Davis, Paul Goldschmidt and Edwin Encarnacion, and I don't think this deal moves him past Encarnacion.
Kinsler's value increases slightly as he will move to the Tigers hitting in front of the best hitter in the game, Miguel Cabrera, so his runs scored should increase. With Kinsler leaving Texas, this opens up second base for prospect Jurickson Profar. Profar's fantasy value increases as well, as his rankings amongst fantasy second baseman will jump from the low teens (#18 in my early rankings) into the 12-13 range for me.
Details of this deal are not final, but either way the Tigers are freeing themselves from one of the worst contracts in baseball. This deal should allow them to sign Cy Young award winning pitcher Max Scherzer to a long term deal, and to make other free agent moves or trades to improve their lineup.
Kinsler fills the Tigers need for a second baseman, while Fielder fills the Rangers need for a first baseman so it's a deal that makes sense for both teams, depending on who else is in the deal, and how much money goes to Texas.
This deal also allows the Tigers to move Miguel Cabrera to first base, freeing up third base, possibly, for top prospect Nick Castellanos. Or, they could look to trade one of their starting pitchers for a third baseman like David Freese if they prefer Castellano in left field.
For instant fan reaction, make sure you check out Bless You Boys and Lone Star Ball, SB Nation's Tigers and Rangers fan sites.
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