Trade Ian Kinsler

The 2014 Rangers have an interesting predicament.  The same predicament they currently have, but it will be more pronounced, more necessary to solve in the off-season.

They have two shortstops and a second baseman.  One shortstop, Elvis Andrus, is locked up for a long, long time.  And the other shortstop, Jurickson Profar, is most likely going to move over to second base permanently, giving the Rangers what should be  a very good and young middle infield, for many years.

I’m assuming the Rangers keep Profar at 2b, rather than move him to the outfield or trade him for another top prospect.  It would mean Ian Kinsler either must change positions, or more logically, be traded to a team who will value him more highly since he can man second base for said team.

Kinsler has been on a decline the past few years, whether it’s due to injury or diminishing skills.  Or perhaps a combination of both.  For example: The league average wOBA in the American League this season is .318.  Over the past two seasons, Kinsler’s wOBA’s have been .327 and .330, respectively.  The .330 has been over the course of 97 games in 2013, so he has some room to improve upon that.  But there is only so much he can do with only a month and a half of the season remaining.

Best option for 2014?  Trade Ian Kinsler.  There are certainly obstacles.  He is going to turn 32 next season.  He, as I mentioned, isn’t hitting like he used to hit, as just two years ago, he posted a 7-WAR season with a .364 wOBA.  He is guaranteed four more seasons, and $62 million on his current contract (including the 2018 option which has a $5 million buyout).  So most teams will be wary of committing that kind of money to a player who is past his prime, and probably past the point of “good” nowadays.  Above-average, maybe.  But I can’t see Kinsler being worth much more than 3 wins in a season moving forward, and he might be worth even less than that.

There is one team that could use a 2B next season though, and has a fairly new obsession with throwing around money: the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Mark Ellis has a $1 million buyout on his 2014 option and is going to be turning 37 next summer.  There is no doubt that Ian Kinsler will be an upgrade at 2B for the Dodgers over Ellis (And at $5 million, Ellis might even be worth a utility role).  If the Dodgers don’t bring home a championship this season after spending an absurd amount of money in 2013 (and beyond), there will be even more pressure to win next year.

In comes the potential acceptance of either the remaining Ian Kinsler money or most of it, without having to give up much.  Maybe a prospect with some upside.  But they definitely won’t have to surrender a bonafide prospect of any kind.

The Rangers COULD decide to just move Kinsler to 1B or a corner outfield spot.  But a .330-ish wOBA at first base would be below the league average at the position.  And even though .330 would be a little above average in left or right field, he would be learning a new position.  That might not go well.  There is a not-miniscule chance Ian Kinsler is a below-average player in 2014 if he is moved off of 2B, especially if it is to the outfield.

The Rangers would probably be just as good bringing back David Murphy as one of the outfielders, rather than moving Ian Kinsler out there.  Murphy is a solid defender, and even though he’s been terrible at the plate in 2013, he should be very cheap next year and regress back closer to his normal offensive numbers.

The other outfield spot could be solved with a platoon, potentially a minor leaguer, depending on who is ready (if anyone), a stop-gap, maybe even Nelson Cruz.  Although, knowing that Cruz was just suspended, I would simply let him walk.

They can solve their outfield situation in a better manner than using Ian Kinsler to fill one of the two voids.

And they can find a 1B for a year that’ll hit like Kinsler probably will in 2014.

Overall, the best bet for the Rangers is to move on from Kinsler, assuming there is a team that wants or needs a 2B badly enough.

 




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Joe is a retired blogger who has come out of retirement, and is even better than before. Used to write under the name Statistician Magician, but someone else now has the domain, as they couldn't come up with anything more original. Or original at all for that matter. Red Sox fan. Favorite players all-time are: Pedroia, Mauer, Griffey. Nomar.


22 Responses to “Trade Ian Kinsler”

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  1. Derek says:

    Atlanta will gladly take him. I would love to rid of Uggla and is 8,000 strikeouts.

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  2. Eddie says:

    “The other outfield spot could be solved with a platoon, potentially a minor leaguer, depending on who is ready (if anyone), a stop-gap, maybe even Nelson Cruz.”

    Wouldn’t this be Alex Rios?

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    • Joe Veno says:

      If Murphy and Cruz are not part of the team then who is left?

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      • Eddie says:

        I understand the original message and the Dodgers would be a possibility. I don’t see the Rangers being able to trade Kinsler primarily because they would want value in return. Despite his decline, he would still be an upgrade over Moreland at 1B and would be my best guess if the Rangers decided to keep Profar this offseason. Hopefully I didn’t come off too snippy, b/c that was not my intent. Have a great day!

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    • Joe Veno says:

      I’m on my phone so responding isn’t easy. I meant if Murphy was used full time, he and Rios would be 2 of the outfielders. Who would be the third?

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  3. Aceathon says:

    Wanna know how I know you don’t follow the Rangers that closely?

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  4. mch38 says:

    Kinsler to the Buccos please

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  5. Junius Worth says:

    2014 Rangers if no trades or FA signings

    LF Moreland/Kinsler/TBA
    CF Martin/Gentry
    RF Rios
    3B Beltre
    SS Andrus
    2B Kinsler
    1B Moreland/Kinsler/TBA
    C TBA

    Kinsler will move to OF or 1B in 2015, Roughned Odor will be playing 2B, Profar 3B, A. Beltre DH

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  6. Junius Worth says:

    2014

    2B Kinsler/Profar I meant to say.

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  7. LT says:

    A plausible solution that keeps everyone on the current roster is to have Beltre and Kinsler split the DH duties next year, leaving Profar to split time between 2B and 3B. The remaining holes on the roster are C, 1B, and the left-handed half of an outfield platoon (Martin will play full-time, and Gentry is more than serviceable as the right-handed half of a platoon). A Moreland/Baker 1B platoon and Engel Beltre in the outfield are far from optimal options, but they’re cheap enough to allow the Rangers to overpay for McCann and Garza if they want to.

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    • Joe Veno says:

      I know Beltre is in his mid-30’s, but is there reason to believe he doesn’t field 3B well anymore? He is one of the greatest defensive 3B of all time…

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      • triple_r says:

        Beltre’s UZR/150 has dropped off a cliff this year–1.1 compared to 14.2 and 16.9 the previous two years. He’s not getting any younger, and that is a pretty worrisome trend.

        Also, the Orioles could sure as hell use Kinsler. How about him for Schoop?

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  8. Juicy-Bones Phil says:

    Not to be rude, but this article is terrible. Way too many “I expect”s in here sandwiched around some very vague wOBA stats to even be considered worth anything as a factual article. Plus, the lack of knowledge of the depth chart, as mentioned above, takes away any credit left over.

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    • Joe Veno says:

      I forgot that everything has to be a formula nowadays. I’m sorry I don’t have Kinsler’s 2014 projections handy. The whole point of the article is that Kinsler isn’t hard to replace if you move him off second. So trade him.

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  9. Mack says:

    You almost lost me at “all time favorite players are Pedroia……” ALL TIME? My head is spinning.

    You have no idea if Profar is even going to be able to hit, we know Ian can. Is there a caculus formula that can predict how a rookie will develop? No, of course not.
    If Daniels is going to keep Profar, because everyone magically knows he won’t fall flat in the box, then trade EA, get a lot more in return and plug Profar in his natural position. There are others coming up behind Ian that can play 2nd, in a couple years.
    As I mentioned, this assumes Profar can hit MLB pitching, consistently, which Kinsler and EA have already proven.
    Trade Profar while you can, is the real answer. The Ranger system is not hurting for MI prospects. Nor is currently hurting with it’s two regular MI’s. Kinsler is still a second tier 2nd and likely will be next year, there’s been no DRAMATIC change or decline, some regression, yes.

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