The Milwaukee Brewers are once again drawing connections to Ian Kinsler. Similar ideas came about at the trade deadline as well.
To be frank, this is just as bad an idea now as it was then. On the plus side, Kinsler does provide an everyday option at second base. That fills one need that the Milwaukee Brewers are currently lacking. However, the potential production does not stack up with the cost of his contract.
Kinsler is set to earn 11 million dollars in 2018, then become a free agent. While it is not the largest price tag for a rental second baseman, bear in mind that the 35 year old hit just .236 last year.
His career batting average is north of .270. That means his 2017 campaign could be just an outlier. Although it is doubtful. Even through injury, Kinsler played in a reliable 139 games for the struggling Tigers. Though if it was the injuries that hindered his numbers, that is a concern.
In the midst of his poor year, he became somewhat of a specialist. Kinsler’s numbers significantly increase when hitting against left handers. Granted, he did not see as many of them. He also was able to hit nearly .270 with runners in scoring position.
To hit so poorly while only striking out 86 times during the year is a little alarming. Especially when his BABIP is under .250. That means he is not making solid contact. That too is a point of concern in a potential trade target.
Clearly the Milwaukee Brewers front office sees something in the veteran. It could be the hope of a resurgence. He did prove to hit better away from Comerica Park in 2017. But, it is worth noting that Kinsler has yet to play outside of the AL. Even though that does not mean a whole lot, it still brings a different dynamic.
The biggest issue, besides what could be seen as a clear decline, is the price tag. Detroit is rebuilding. That means they will ask for big returns, just like the White Sox. If I were to venture a guess, the minimum price would be Marcos Diplan.
Detroit made some nice moves at the deadline to bring in hitting prospects. However, they still could use a bolstering in their young arms. That means they would want the Milwaukee Brewers to surrender a pitching prospect. Of course, Kinsler is no longer worth a top arm like Luis Ortiz, Corbin Burnes, or Brandon Woodruff.
Diplan might be somewhat expendable for the Milwaukee Brewers, but to trade him and get an aging rental would not be smart. Kinsler would be a nice addition for, say, Kyle Wren. But the Tigers would more than likely not go for that.
Put simply, Kinsler is not worth the price tag in order to get him. Even then, the paycheck is going to be too much for the rental. Dare I call this the hitting version of Matt Garza. His history might look appealing, but history is all it is. Those days are behind him.