Dave Dombrowski has done it again. In what is quite possibly the most shocking Tigers news since the Tigers signed him, first baseman Prince Fielder has been traded to the Texas Rangers, along with cash, in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler.
According to CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Tigers and Rangers agreed to an exchange of the two star players, pending a physical and commissioner approval.
In January 2012, the Tigers surprisingly signed Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract. Fielder was known for the massive home run power that he had with the Milwaukee Brewers. But in his first two seasons with the Tigers, fans saw only a small sample size of his power.
Many Tigers fans grew frustrated with the five-time All-Star, as, in 2013, he failed to tally one RBI in 11 postseason games.
A big reason for this deal is assumed to be the massive contract still left for Fielder. However, the Tigers also received a very talented second baseman in Kinsler. Kinsler, 31, is an eight-year veteran who has played his entire career with Texas.
Through the 2013 season, Kinsler has compiled a .273 batting average, along with being selected to three All-Star games. He is also a member of the exclusive 30-30 club (30 home runs and 30 stolen bases), achieving the feat in both 2009 and 2011. He is also the all-time leader for the Rangers in stolen bases with 172 for his career.
In a text message sent to Impact Sports staff member Anthony Serafino, Tigers play-by-play announcer, Dan Dickerson, said, “BIG move… Nice payroll flexibility.”
Kinsler is signed through 2017, with a team option for 2018, and will earn $16 million the next two seasons before that number begins to dwindle down. However, he has $62 million dollars guaranteed left on that contract, compared to $168 million for Fielder. The Tigers will send the Rangers $30 million as well.
The trade gives general manager Dave Dombrowski an extra $76 million to work with. It is widely assumed that Dombrowski will use some of that money to attempt to re-sign the 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.
Make sure to keep up with MSU Impact Sports for all of your breaking Tigers news, as well as news from all over Michigan State sports.
Michael Higer is a multimedia journalist for MSU Impact Sports
Photo: Detroit Tigers