The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers have completed to a blockbuster trade that will send first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reports that the Rangers received $30 million in cash in the deal, which is now official.
Fielder, who hit .279 with 25 HR and 106 RBI on the season for Detroit, heads to a more hitter-friendly ballpark in Arlington and will immediately take over first base for the Rangers. As Heyman notes, Texas was one of the teams that pursued the 29-year old when he was a free agent two years ago, but he ultimately went to Detroit on a nine-year, $214 million deal. In two seaons with the Tigers, Fielder hit .295 with 55 HR and 214 RBI while playing every game in both seasons. He is under team control through 2020, and will provide the big bat that the Rangers have been looking for since the summer.
After losing Omar Infante to free agency, the Tigers moved quickly in their pursuit of a second baseman by landing Kinsler early in the offseason. The 31-year old has been one of the best second basemen in the game in recent years, hitting .277 with 13 HR and 72 RBI in 136 games for the Tigers in 2013. He is a three-time All-Star, and provides an immediate upgrade for the Tigers at the position.
By freeing up a significant amount of money by shipping Fielder out of town, the Tigers are now expected to work on a contract extension with starter Max Scherzer, who will become a free agent after next season. The move also allows Miguel Cabrera to move back to first base and prospect Nick Castellanos to take over the hot corner for the Tigers on a permanent basis in 2014.
Texas was expected to move one of Kinsler, Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar this winter, so the deal frees up second base for Profar to take over next season. The Rangers head into 2014 with a starting infield of Fielder, Profar, Andrus and third baseman Adrian Beltre.
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