Two weeks before the Major League Baseball winter meetings were scheduled to begin, superstar Prince Fielder was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler Wednesday night.
According to reports, the Tigers will also send $30 million to the Rangers as part of the trade. Prince Fielder spent the last two seasons with the Tigers, batting .279 with 25 home runs and 106 RBI last season. Kinsler batted .277 while hitting 13 homers and 72 RBI for the Rangers. With Prince Fielder going to the Texas Rangers in this blockbuster trade, this news has great advantages for both teams.
The Tigers needed to make room in their salary cap, and this blockbuster trade helped. Prince Fielder was owed $168 million over the next seven years, while Ian Kinsler’s contract has him receiving only $62 million over the next four years. Kinlser brings nearly identical stats without breaking the bank. As for the Texas Rangers, this helps to bring not only star power, but a huge bat that can replace Josh Hamilton.
The Detroit Tigers are still dominant in the Central division, but have lost in the playoffs. They won their third consecutive division title last year, only to lose to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. Reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera only had one home run and four RBIs against the Red Sox, and Fielder, batting behind Cabrera, had an anemic .182. Also, by removing Fielder’s contract, the Tigers can now focus on using the money to keep reining Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in 2014 and re-sign Cabrera in 2015.
As for the Texas Rangers, they got a great deal when they landed Prince Fielder in this blockbuster trade. The Rangers were only one out away from winning their first World Series title in 2011, but missed the postseason for the first time in four years in 2013. They are also getting the big power of the bat from Fielder that they wanted. Josh Hamilton was traded to the Anaheim Angels last year and the Rangers were missing a hole in their lineup. They really needed to make some crucial changes to get back to their winning ways.
What does this look like for the upcoming 2014 season? It will surely be interesting. The Tigers and Rangers play each other in May and June, so expect those games to get huge coverage on national television. Also, it means their respective divisions might be looking at what they need to do to bolster their rosters as the winter meetings begin on December 9th. The Central may feel that they have an advantage because the Tigers lost some power, but don’t count out Kinsler. He could be that little threat that will help keep the Tigers winning. As for the Rangers, it could put the West division winner Oakland Athletics on their heels, looking to scramble to get a big name of their own to bring in huge production.
If more reports of superstar deals, like Prince Fielder going to the Texas Rangers in this blockbuster trade, continue throughout the off-season, look for the 2014 baseball season to be an exciting one to watch.
By: Renayle Fink