Prince Fielder traded to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler in blockbuster deal

Big League Stew

Turns out the Detroit Tigers really did fall out of love with Prince Fielder.

The Tigers have agreed to a blockbuster trade with the Texas Rangers that will send Fielder to Arlington in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler. The deal was first reported by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and confirmed by Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.

Fielder, 29, signed a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers before the 2012 season, but fell out of favor in Detroit recently. He hit 30 homers with 108 RBIs in 2012, then hit 25 homers and drove in 106 runs in 2013. But Fielder disappeared in the postseason both seasons. He had one homer and three RBIs in 24 postseason games as a Tiger.

Kinsler, 31, isn't the slugger that Fielder is, but has averaged 24 homers and 82 RBIs over nine seasons with the Rangers — though his homers have been down the past few seasons (19 in 2012 and 13 in 2013). He's owed $62 million over the next four seasons with a $10 million club option for 2018.

Knee-jerk reaction? This is a huge coup for the Rangers. They have a second baseman waiting in the wings in Jurickson Profar, who was the No. 1 overall-rated prospect in baseball headed into 2013. They'd been talking about trading a middle infielder and getting Prince Fielder in return is quite a ransom.

Texas' 2013 starting first baseman Mitch Moreland hit .232/.299/.437 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs. Also, if the Rangers don't re-sign free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, they'll make up what they lose in the power department with Fielder. Rangers GM Jon Daniels pursued Fielder when he was a free agent, so he's obviously not changed his mind Prince.

The Rangers are hoping Fielder is the piece that turns the team — back-to-back World Series losers in 2010 and 2011, then October disappointments the next two years — into champions, finally.

Part of what Fielder tradable to the Tigers — who, like the Rangers, are seeking a World Series win that's eluded them in recent years — is Fielder's blasé reaction to defeat this postseason. One of his sticky comments after the Tigers were bounced from the playoffs in the ALCS:

"It's not really tough for me," Fielder said. "It's over. I've got kids I've got to take care of. I've got things I've got to take care of. For me, it's over, bro."

Now the Tigers will likely move Miguel Cabrera — who isn't the best third baseman — to first and give their third base spot to top prospect Nick Castellanos. The Tigers most often played Omar Infante at second base last season and he hit .318/.345/.450 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs in an up year for him. Kinsler is an upgrade, especially if he can return to 2011 form when he hit 32 homer, but not as big of an upgrade as the Rangers are getting.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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