The best part about this time of the year is the completely wacky trade rumors that come across the wire. This one isn't a rumor, though: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is confirming that the Tigers and Rangers have agreed to a deal that would send Ian Kinsler to Detroit and Prince Fielder to Texas. The trade is a one for one, with no other players being involved, though Texas will receive $30 million in salary to help offset Fielder's contract. Fielder did not block the trade with his no-trade clause.
On paper, it makes sense to some degree for both sides. Detroit's second baseman Omar Infante is a free agent, and the club has top third base prospect Nick Castellanos waiting in the wings. Trading Fielder could let the club shift Miguel Cabrera back across the diamond and prevent a move to the outfield for Castellanos, all while plugging in Kinsler at second to replace Infante. Meanwhile, trading Kinsler for Fielder would allow the Rangers to play stud infield prospect Jurickson Profar every day at second while letting Fielder play first base instead of the frustrating Mitch Moreland.
While Kinsler is still owed a minimum of $62 million over the next four years, Fielder is owed a whopping $168 million over the next seven. Fielder's stats are already taking a step back, as he hit a career-low 25 home runs in 2013 to go along with a disappointing .276/.362/.457 line. Kinsler also disappointed last year, hitting a career-low 13 homers and scuffling his way to a .277/.344/.413 line, but when you consider their contracts, it's pretty obvious that he's the better value going forward – even with the $30 million heading to Texas in the deal.