The MLB trade news has been heating up in the offseason, with the Detroit Tigers’ Ian Kinsler the latest player on the move. While the Tigers debated keeping him, Kinsler will now join the Los Angeles Angels and help them fill a much-needed void in terms of their roster. The Tigers have indicated they didn’t have many options available beyond keeping Kinsler and his $11 million contract or dealing him to the Angels. Here’s the latest on the second baseman being traded to the Angels, and what the Tigers will be getting in return.
A report from ESPN earlier on Thursday indicated that the Detroit Tigers have agreed to send Ian Kinsler to the Angels in exchange for two prospects. Those two prospects are minor league players Wilkel Hernandez and Troy Montgomery, both of whom could blossom into future stars. Hernandez is an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher, while Montgomery is a 23-year-old outfielder. They’ll need time to develop, but the Detroit Tigers may not be rushing back into playoff contention just yet as they continue to change parts of their roster. According to an MLive report, this was really the only deal available at the time for the Tigers to make so they chose to pull the trigger on it, rather than let the offer run out.
The veteran Kinsler is now 35 and has spent 11 years in the league. For his career, he’s hit 0.273 with 234 home runs and 839 RBIs. Last season wasn’t his best work, though, as Kinsler had a 0.236 batting average with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs. Despite producing well in previous MLB seasons, the Detroit Tigers have decided to move forward with rebuilding mode with this latest deal. Previously, they dealt longtime ace pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros, who went on to win the World Series with his newest team.
As far as the Los Angeles Angels go, they’re likely seeing the four-time All-Star as a veteran presence and 2016 Gold Glove winner who can help star player Mike Trout and company get closer to an MLB playoff appearance. Their roster also includes recently-acquired free agent Shohei Otani from Japan, a young international star that was coveted by most teams in MLB. The Angels won the big “sweepstakes” to acquire him over other contenders including the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.
Otani already has the Angels fans excited for many reasons, including the fact he’s excelled at both hitting and pitching with his team in Japan. Now he’ll have more than a few veteran stars to help him as he transitions to American baseball, which may not have too much of a learning curve for a player of his talents.
The L.A. Angels finished last season with an 80-82 record which was second behind the eventual World Series champions, the Houston Astros. Los Angeles failed to reach the postseason with that record, but were five games behind the second of two Wild Card teams in the American League. Now they Halos will hope that the additions of young star Otani and veteran Kinsler may be solid moves towards a playoff resurgence.