Ian Kinsler has signed a contract! Sadly, he signed with the San Diego Padres. His deal is likely to impact the current second base market, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The San Diego Padres caused the first domino to fall when they inked Ian Kinsler to a contract this past week. However, Kinsler is the first of the available second basemen to find a new home. His deal will give other agents an idea of what their clients at the keystone can expect. And this isn’t the best scenario for the Milwaukee Brewers, and it does have an impact on Jed Lowrie‘s market.
What was Kinsler’s deal?
The Padres signed Kinsler to a two-year deal worth $8 million. His contract also comes with an option year for 2021. If he plays all three seasons, he’ll be 39 years old at the end of the deal.
How does that impact Lowrie?
The issue isn’t the dollars. It’s the years. Most pundits expected Kinsler to get a one-year deal with an eye towards playing year-to-year until he retires. He got what could end up as a three-year deal. There’s no way that Lowrie will sign for fewer than two years, and could demand a three- or four-year deal. Lowrie is two years younger than Kinsler, and he’s coming off the best year of his career. He’s going to get a multi-year commitment that could stretch into 2022.
What does this mean for the Brewers?
The Milwaukee Brewers have been looking for player to handle second base until Keston Hiura or Mauricio Dubon are ready to compete at the Major League level. Ideally, the Brewers would sign a veteran on a one-year deal, and look to transition Hiura or Dubon into a starting role in the summer. In an ideal world, Lowrie would sign a one- or two-year deal, and move into a super-sub / bench role in the second half of the year.
Now that Kinsler has set the bar for free agent second baseman at two years or more, there’s no chance that Lowrie agrees to a shorter deal. If he signs for less than three years, he needs to fire his agent yesterday.
Who do the Brewers look to at second base?
There are still a ton of names available for the Milwaukee Brewers to choose from, but GM David Stearns has to exercise caution. Overpaying for a second baseman adds unnecessary stress to the Brewers payroll, and could have an impact on the current core as they age into arbitration and free agency. Derek Dietrich, Josh Harrison, and Daniel Murphy all look great on paper, but none will accept a one-year deal.
If the Milwaukee Brewers want to add a veteran, they’re going to have to look to names like Yangervis Solarte, Neil Walker, or Asdrubal Cabrera if they want to stabilize second base while not going long term.