Now that the Milwaukee Brewers have non-tendered Jonathan Schoop, Ian Kinsler might be a nice pickup for 2019.
At 36 years old, there is no question that Kinsler is not the player he was while playing in Texas and Detroit. Despite that, he still provides playoff experience, a serviceable bat, good speed as well as a great glove. In 2018 while playing for the Angels and Red Sox he only hit .240 with an OBP of just over .300. On the plus side, he did hit 14 home runs and stole 16 bases in just under 500 at bats.
What other benefits does Kinsler offer?
The real advantage to having Kinsler on the team isn’t on the offensive end, but rather his ability to play defense. In 2018 he won his second gold glove award. He has a career range factor of 4.76 and that is the best among all active second baseman. This Bill James statistic is used to calculate the total number of outs a player participates in at a particular position.
Kinsler has extensive playoff experience as well. He has been to the post-season five times in his career and has played in three World Series, including winning a championship this year with the Red Sox.
How much will Kinsler cost?
Kinsler is an unrestricted free agent who just completed a five-year contract worth $75 million. Because of his age and declining offensive skills, Kinsler is probably not going to get a lucrative long term deal. In addition to that, the Milwaukee Brewers just need someone to hold the position for maybe a year while Hiura gets prepared to become the team’s second baseman of the future.
Adding a second baseman that can hit double digit home runs and steal double digit bases, as well as provide gold glove defense, at what could be a modest price, seems like a logical move for the Milwaukee Brewers.