Tigers are sending $30 million to Texas along with Fielder and the deal is pending the waiving of no-trade clauses and physicals.
Fielder, 29, is only two years into his $214 million mega deal he signed with the Tigers before the 2012 season. He gave the Tigers some bang for the buck during his stay, posting an .878 OPS. His trade will enable Detroit to move Miguel Cabrera back to first base, while freeing up money to retain reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer who is a free agent after 2014.
Kinsler, 31, is entering the second season of a five-year, $75 million deal that runs through 2017. His departure opens second base for top prospect Jurickson Profar.
Here are some reactions from this blockbuster deal:
Jon Heyman, CBS Sports:
Detroit could use big prospect Nick Castellanos at third base, and move two-time defending A.L. MVP Miguel Cabrera to first base. That could be a plus for Cabrera, who had switched to third base with Fielder’s signing two years ago, given his physical issues in 2013. Even if Castellanos plays the outfield, it’s seen as likely Cabrera would move to first now.
Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports:
Give lots of credit to Dave Dombrowski; the potential nightmare back half of Prince Fielder‘s nine-year, $214 million contract is no more. Instead, Fielder and the $168 million he’s still owed is gone after two mildly disappointing seasons in Detroit, with Ian Kinsler‘s more palatable deal coming back.
Jon Daniels, Rangers GM:
Dave (Dombrowski) called yesterday and threw out the concept. We had a little dialogue before on it. From there, David and I had a series of phone calls and both sides were interested and we got the money where both sides could live with it.
Matthew Pouilot, NBC Sports:
The Rangers get better on the field with the one-for-one deal, but it’s at a cost of inheriting one of the game’s worst contract. Most likely, Fielder will put up a better line next year than the .279/.362/.457 he hit while going through a divorce in a career-worst 2013 season. He’s just turning 30 in May, and while his body type suggests an early decline is quite possible, he probably has at least one or two more .900-OPS seasons in him.
Ron Washington, Rangers Manager:
Fielder has presence, He’s been a very productive player. He’s a winning player. I do believe he’ll fit well in this clubhouse.
Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated:
Sometimes I think Dave Dombrowski should write a book about running a high-payroll baseball team, but I doubt any other general manager would buy it. Dombrowski does things that don’t make much sense, right until the moment they do. And to understand how deftly he has navigated a job that is more difficult than people realize, look at what Dombrowski did, from start to finish, with Prince Fielder.
Dave Dombrowski, Tigers GM:
We have been trying to create some financial flexibility. We’re in a situation where we have a lot of stars. They’re well-paid stars, and you can only have so many of those. It gives us some flexibility at the first base spot. I’m not really sure what we’re going to do here today with Miguel, but eventually we see him as a first baseman.”
Phil Rogers, MLB.com:
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who was acquired from Arizona in the three-team trade that sent Granderson to the Yankees, appears to be an obvious beneficiary of this trade. The Tigers couldn’t have anticipated Scherzer upstaging Justin Verlander a couple of years ago, but that’s what the right-hander has done. With Fielder and much of his nine-year, $214 million contract gone, Dombrowski has more flexibility to sign Scherzer to an extension that allows the co-ace to work alongside Verlander and Anibal Sanchez through at least 2017.