The 2013 baseball season may be over but that doesn’t mean baseball is done. Since the off-season began there has been plenty of speculation to go around about trades since the off-season began and one of the teams everyone has been watching and talking about is the Detroit Tigers.
Jim Leyland surprised many fans when he decided to resign as the Detroit Tigers manager, causing the Tigers to find a new manager to lead this team. In the month of October the Tigers hired Brad Ausmus as their new manager and now they have made another move.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports broke the news first when he announced that “the Tigers and Rangers had agreed to a deal that would send first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas and second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit.”
Later on the Detroit Tigers confirmed the trade through their Twitter account:
To some this was a surprise move, for me personally this wasn’t much of a surprise. When the Tigers acquired Fielder they planned on him being a consistent asset specifically as big hitter especially in the playoffs where it matters most but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Fielder didn’t do much for the Tigers except disappoint and for the Tigers that’s unacceptable, especially since the Tigers have a chance to possibly make it back to the World Series again next season.
So trading Fielder is a fine decision in my book and I have to say I am happy with their acquisition in second baseman Ian Kinsler.
The Tigers definitely needed someone at second base, since Omar Infante is no-longer a Tiger. Now if you’re looking for Kinsler to be Infante, don’t hold your breath but I wouldn’t be so quick to think bad of Kinsler. At 31 years old, most consider him to be one of the best offensive second basemen in baseball. Kinsler was a 30-30 player just two years ago. He brings some speed to the lineup and the Tigers can have him hit to lead-off. He may not be Infante in certain ways but he is upgrade over Infante in terms of WAR. Overall, he is an underrated, player.
Plus this move also helps the Tigers in another way. This move allows the Tigers to move Miguel Cabrera back to first base. As most people know, Cabrera has been playing third ever since Detroit acquired Fielder, but since that isn’t where he naturally plays or fits, at times during the season he was considered a defensive liability. So this move is good defensively for the Tigers. As far as who will play third base for the Tigers, that’s debatable. They could re-sign Jhonny Peralta or someone else they feel is a key part of the Tigers or they could go out find someone new and sign them, it just depends on what the Tigers want to do.
Also keep in mind, that this deal allows the Tigers some much-needed financial flexibility. I know there is no cap in baseball but this financial flexibility could be key for the Tigers if they want to re-sign pitcher Max Scherzer.
So while I understand there are some question marks about this trade, I must once again say that I trust Dave Dombrowski, he is very creative and intelligent and I think this trade makes the Tiger a better team. Of course only time will tell if all these moves work out. On paper it looks good but we all know it’s about what is done once you get on the field.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
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