Biggest Winners and Losers of Huge Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler Trade
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was among the first people to report the blockbuster trade, although the trade was not official at the time.
There could be another player involved in the trade as potential as well, but that hasn't been confirmed. There may also be money involved as Fielder's $214 million contract is much larger.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports then reported that the Tigers would also be supplying $30 million of Fielder's massive contract.
Here is the math on the finances: Prince owed $168M. #Tigers pay $30M of that, plus Kinsler’s $62M - total of $92M. Savings of $76M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 21, 2013
Things didn't become certain until the Detroit Tigers officially announced that the trade ended with Fielder, Kinsler and cash considerations, not including a prospect or player to be named later.
OFFICIAL: The #Tigers have acquired Ian Kinsler from the Rangers in exchange for Prince Fielder and cash considerations.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) November 21, 2013
This trade completely shakes up the American League, as two of its biggest names have changed jerseys and two of the perennial playoff contenders have swapped stars.
Let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers from this shocking megadeal.
Loser: Miguel Cabrera
It's hard to call Miguel Cabrera a loser in any way, shape or form...but I have to.
Miggy is losing his protection in this trade.
A big reason why Cabrera was able to win his second consecutive MVP award this year is because pitchers were forced to pitch to him. Knowing that another slugger was on deck made pitchers hesitant to pitch around Cabrera, and that gave him the chance to tee off on their pitches over the heart of the plate.
Now that Fielder is gone and Kinsler will likely bat before Cabrera in the lineup, we could see a slight decline in Cabrera's production in 2014 and beyond.
Winner: Fernando Rodney
Fernando Rodney has to be sitting back and grinning from ear to ear after hearing that the Tigers got rid of Fielder's massive nine-year, $214 million contract in this deal.
Even with the $30 million that the Tigers are giving to the Rangers, the team is still saving $76 million as part of the trade.
Rodney has closed in Detroit before, but he's become a much better pitcher over the last two years.
|2011||Los Angeles Angels||3-5||3 (4)||4.50||1.69||-0.4|
|2012||Tampa Bay Rays||2-2||48 (2)||0.60||0.78||3.7|
|2013||Tampa Bay Rays||5-4||37 (8)||3.38||1.34||0.5|
As you can see from his stats over each of the past three seasons, Rodney became a reliable closer in Tampa Bay. He seems to have figured things out, and now he looks like a solid option for the Tigers as their closer.
The Tigers now have a considerable amount of money freed up, and they will likely spend it on addressing their issues at closer. That means that the money could end up in Rodney's pocket.
Losers: Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo and Brian McCann
The $76 million that the Tigers will no longer have to pay Fielder had to go somewhere, and it went right to Texas' payroll.
The Rangers are now signed up for another huge chunk of change in the coming years, which will likely affect the free agents they target and how much money they can offer them.
The Rangers were looking into a lot of big-name guys, including Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo on Twitter. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman has also linked them with Shin-Soo Choo.
The Rangers are hot after Brian McCann, but a few GM's are thinking the Rangers still have interest in Jacoby Ellsbury— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) November 13, 2013
However, with the knowledge that they are now spending more money in the coming years, the Rangers will be reluctant to shell out the kind of money over the long term that they will need to sign such high-profile athletes.
The Rangers will be offering less money to all of their free-agent finds, and they may not even pursue some of the players with bigger price tags.
This trade came as bad news to any player who was hoping to sign with the Rangers or to use the money the team offered to raise the stakes during negotiations with other clubs.
Winner: Texas Rangers
The big question in this trade is which team came out on top. The answer: the Rangers.
Even though the team will now be paying an extra $76 million and loses its star second baseman, the Rangers are still receiving one of the top first basemen and designated hitters in the game today.
When comparing the stats of the two players, it's not even close as to which was a better hitter in 2013:
While Kinsler's defense is better than that of Fielder, the Rangers offense will be incredibly potent with Fielder in the middle of the order.
Loser: Prince Fielder
While the Rangers might have won because they traded for Fielder, Fielder lost because he was traded to the Rangers.
The Tigers came within two games of making it to the World Series this year and were among the best teams in baseball in 2013.
The Rangers, on the other hand, gave up plenty of assets (such as Mike Olt) to trade for Matt Garza and make a playoff push, but the team missed out on the postseason after losing a one-game tiebreaker with the Rays for the last wild-card spot.
Fielder is still looking for his first ring, and he had a better chance of getting it with the Tigers than he'll have with the Rangers.
Winner: Ian Kinsler
Just as Fielder is a loser in this deal because his chances of winning a ring decreased, Kinsler is a winner for the exact opposite reason.
The Tigers have been close to the ultimate prize as of late, making it to each of the last three ALCS and one World Series.
The Rangers are a playoff contender and finished two games behind the Tigers in the regular season, but their team from top to bottom simply isn't as talented as that of the Tigers.
If the Tigers go on to win a ring with Kinsler, he'll be one of the biggest winners in this trade.
Loser: Detroit Tigers
Even though Kinsler is a winner in this deal, the team he was traded to is a loser.
The Tigers gave up one of their best hitters and their protection for Cabrera in this trade.
While Kinsler will help the team's defense, his power cannot make up for the loss of Fielder's explosive bat.
The Tigers had the second-highest scoring offense in baseball this year, but a big reason for that was Fielder's success. Without him, Cabrera and the rest of the lineup will struggle.