According to two sources, the Rangers and Kinsler have agreed on a five-year contract extension worth $75 million that will keep him in Texas through 2017. The contract also includes an option for a sixth year, a source confirmed. An announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
The 29-year-old second baseman had 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 2011, playing in a career-high 155 games. Kinsler's batting average (.255) did suffer a bit, though that can be attributed to an incredibly low .243 batting average on balls in play.
It is an interesting move for the Rangers, who had Kinsler under contract this year and an option year for 2013. Instead of waiting to see if he was going to stay healthy, they decided to pay him based on a career year.
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Kinsler is athletic enough to be a productive player for the duration of the contract, but it doesn't make sense for there to be a rush to get a deal done.
In his six-year career, Kinsler has missed at least 32 games four times. This new deal, if the option year gets picked up, would take him through his age 36 season.
Injury-prone players don't age well, but there is no denying the talent that Kinsler has when he is on the field. He has evolved from a bat-only second basemen into one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball.
With this deal, the Rangers continue their trend of locking up their star players. It started with Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz avoiding arbitration with multi-year deals, and then Derek Holland was given a new five-year deal just before the start of the regular season.