The first blockbuster trade of the MLB offseason went down Wednesday night, with the Detroit Tigers sending hometown slugger Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Detroit is also sending the Rangers $30 million in cash to offset Fielder’s salary commitments. The deal was first reported by CBSSports.
Fielder slumped for a portion of 2013 but finished the season with solid numbers, batting .279 with 25 home runs and 106 runs batted in while playing in all 162 for the third consecutive season. Kinsler, 31 and a three-time All-Star, has been inconsistent in eight seasons with the Rangers but has hit 30+ home runs and stolen 30+ bases two times in his career (2009, 2011) and batted .277 with 13 homes runs, 72 RBIs and scored 85 runs in 136 games last season.
Fielder, 29, has $168 million and seven seasons left on a nine-year, $214 million deal he signed with Detroit in 2012 that makes him the fifth highest-paid player in baseball after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. Kinsler is owed just $62 million over the next four seasons, so the deal made sense for Detroit financially. Both players will be 36 at the end of their current deals.
Dealing Fielder also allows the Tigers to move two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera from third base to first base for the foreseeable future.
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