Multiple news sources are reporting that the Detroit Tigers have traded All Star 1B Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for their All Star 2B Ian Kinsler. In a move that shocked most, myself included, lets take a look at both teams to see what they’re getting.
Texas Rangers- Ever since trading their prized prospect Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee trade, the Rangers have been lacking talent at first base. Their current 1B Mitch Moreland hit .232 with 23 HR and 60 RBI this past season. Fielder is a clear upgrade to this position. With the uncertainty surrounding Nelson Cruz future with the team, Texas needed to add another power bat to help Adrian Beltre. They did so in this trade. In an off year for Fielder, he still hit .279 with 25 HR and 106 RBI. This gives the Rangers that feared bat they’ve been looking for and then some.
Detroit Tigers- This move comes as a bit more of a surprise to this team, but it makes sense. Rumors were swirling that Detroit was going to have to trade 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer due to salary cap constraints. As opposed to doing that, they dealt Fielder and his massive contract. Detroit already has 2 big power hitters in Victor Martinez and 2X AL MVP Miguel Cabrera. By making this move, Detroit was able to solidify their rotation for years to come, while, at the same time adding one of the top second baseman in baseball. Kinsler hit .277 this year with 13 HR and 72 RBI. While his numbers don’t seem as impressive as Fielders, Kisnler brings a leadership element to this team that was seemingly missing. Furthermore, Kinsler can be a great mentor to young players like Jose Iglesias and Dixon Machado.
Who Won? While it is way to early to truly answer this question, It seems at the moment like Detroit may have won this deal by a hair. The ability to add a top 5 second baseman and be able to resign your reigning Cy Young winner was a deal to good to pass up. Kinsler will be a great mentor to the blossoming stars on this team and will provide great clubhouse leadership. Texas didn’t lose this deal by any stretch, but Detroit will come out a bit on top.