Trimming Fat

Kinsler
This Rangers offseason will come down to one of two things: Trading Profar and prospects for someone like David Price or trading Kinsler in order to save future payroll. I believe the latter happens.
Ian Kinsler is coming off a season where he was All-Star caliber (5 rWAR) for the third time in his career. His contract is team-friendly for a team willing to spend a little money as he is owed $16M each of the next two seasons, but only $14M the next year and $16M over the last two years of his contract ($12M team option in final year). As he declines in value, so does his contract.

The front office is wanting to make an impact this offseason, but have payroll constraints like most MLB ballclubs. The Rangers signed Geovany Soto on Tuesday to become their “primary” catcher according to Daniels. Would JD love to have Brian McCann? Of course, but he could cost upwards of $15M AAV and the Rangers don’t have the budget as the team is currently constructed to take on such a deal. Solution: the team needs to trim some fat and Kinsler is it.

What would the team get back in return? Since Texas is looking to shed the entire $62M, they would be lucky to get back one or two low-level prospects. This move is about giving Profar a spot in the lineup everyday and shedding payroll to allow the ballclub to fill other holes.

Which teams would be willing to take on this kind of money? The easy answer is any of the teams that will be in on Robinson Cano, but won’t pay upwards of $200M. The Dodgers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Astros, Tigers, White Sox or even Yankees could see Kinsler as someone that could put their team over the top.

Does a part of me want to see Kinsler finish out his contract with the Rangers? Sure, because he does have value and is a strong presence in the clubhouse, but the good teams make tough decisions and this would be one of them. This is the offseason where Kinsler is traded.

Eddie Middlebrook is the co-host of “Chin Music” and VP of Media for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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