Veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler plans to meet with the Tigers general manager Al Avila “soon” to discuss his future with the club, Kinsler told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Kindler said to Morosi that he may be willing to waive his no-trade clause, which is limited to only 10 teams. However, the 35-year-old infielder said he would only waive it depending on “on what he hears about the Tigers’ offseason plan,” according to Morosi. In previous reports, Kinsler would only agree to a trade if he was guaranteed a contract extension on his current contract.
Kinsler, whom the Tigers acquired from the Rangers for first baseman Prince Fielder back on Nov. 20, 2013, has had his worst season with the club this year. He has posted a 2.2 WAR with 19 home runs and 46 RBI while slashing .236/.315/.405 in 516 at-bats and 575 plate appearances. In his previous three years, he has had a WAR above 5.7, has batted over .275 and has been either an All-Star, a vote-getter on the AL MVP ballot or a Gold Glove winner.
Kinsler admitted to Morosi that his “focus drifted” this season because of Tigers’ struggles this season. The Tigers are 62-88 and in fourth place the AL Central.
Kinsler has a $12 million team option ($5 million buyout) for 2018. The Tigers have admitted and showed they want to get younger while shedding a ton of payroll. They traded J.D. Martinez, Justin Wilson and Alex Avila during the non-waiver deadline and dealt ace Justin Verlander and outfielder Justin Upton on the last day of the waiver deadline.
If the Tigers plan to go toward the rebuilding route, Kinsler may want to waive his no-trade clause so he can play for a contender for the rest of his career. As Morosi points out, Kinsler has played in the World Series twice (both with the Rangers in 2010 and 2011) and has been in the playoffs four times during his career.