Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Kingdom For a Prince... Tigers and Rangers Turn in Blockbuster Deal

Not at all like trading a kingdom, but when you get a chance at a title like that, you have to go for it.

Just when you thought baseball news was hitting a lull, two American League teams burst of the scene to save the day.  The Detroit Tigers have traded first baseman Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

The Rangers seemed tentative at first, and who could blame them with 7 years and $168 million left on Fielder's contract.  According to Rangers general Manager Jon Daniels, "Both sides were interested and we got the money where both sides could live with it."

A strange way to phrase that, "both sides could live with it."  But with Detroit giving them $30 million of salary relief, it could be worse.  Oh, and their infield is stacked now.

The Rangers will boast one of the most potent infields in the game in 2014.  Prince will man first as he has done in Milwaukee and Detroit, and with Kinsler gone, it will give the Rangers a chance to slot Jurickson Profar as the every day second baseman.  On the left side, the tandem of Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre will continue to goof off and hit bombs swinging from one knee.

And its not like the Tigers are hurting in this deal, either.  While they are giving $30 million to Texas, Kinsler is only owed $62 million, bringing their grand total to $92 million, which Texas pays $138.  The extra funds could set up nicely for say, a Max Scherzer re-signing?

With first base open and a bad hip to worry about, the Tigers will most likely shift two-time defending MVP Miguel Cabrera over to first base, with Kinsler, Jose Iglesias and potential rising star Nick Castellanos rounding out the remaining positions.  So no real question marks for the Tigers on the field, but in the dugout, how will 44-year-old rookie manager Brad Ausmus fare with the perennial postseaon powerhouse Tigers?

Over in Arlington, is this the year manager Ron Washington can finally get the monkey off his back and get that 11th win in October?

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