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Blockbuster sends Fielder to Texas for Kinsler

The SportsXchange

The Texas Rangers acquired first baseman Prince Fielder and $30 million from the Detroit Tigers for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Fielder approved the trade, which was required because of a limited no-trade provision in the nine-year, $214 million deal he signed with the Rangers in 2012.

"He fits what we're looking for -- a middle-of-the-order power threat that is durable and plays to win," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's a good complement with Adrian Beltre in the middle of our order."

Because of the major difference in player salaries, the Tigers agreed to send $30 million in cash to the Rangers as part of the deal.

Fielder, 29, still has seven years and $168 million remaining on the nine-year, $214 million contract he signed with Detroit in January 2012.

Over his two years with the Tigers, Fielder hit .295 with a .387 on-base percentage, a .491 slugging percentage and averages of 27.5 homers and 107 RBIs. He played 162 games each year, was an All-Star both seasons and earned a Silver Slugger award in 2012. His power numbers and a miserable postseason (9 of 40) could be read as indications Fielder is passing his prime. Daniels disagrees.

"We don't feel that way. We're excited by what we see of him in the future," he said.

Fielder began his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005. From 2006-11 with the Brewers, he averaged 38 homers and 107.7 RBIs per year, earning three All-Star appearances.

The Rangers were looking for an offensive upgrade at first base after Mitch Moreland endured a disappointing season. They were equipped to seamlessly transition top prospect Jurickson Profar into the lineup at second base.

Likewise, the Tigers have a ready-made fix in the infield. MVP Miguel Cabrera will play first base, with Detroit expected to slide Nick Castellanos, one of the shooting stars in their farm system, into the vacant spot at third.

Kinsler, 31, has four years and $57 million remaining on his contract, plus a $10 million club option or a $5 million buyout for 2018. He signed a five-year, $75 million extension with Texas in April 2012. Even if the Tigers buy out Kinsler's final season, they would put in $92 million -- rather than $168 million owed Fielder -- and could use the difference to retain Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

A three-time All-Star, Kinsler hit .277 with a .344 on-base percentage, a .413 slugging percentage, 13 homers and 72 RBIs in 136 games this year. He would take over at second base for Detroit, replacing free agent Omar Infante.
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