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Report: Tigers trade Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler

11:28 PM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
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(Detroit Free Press) -- Prince Fielder joined the Tigers two seasons ago as one of the biggest free agent signings in Detroit sports history.

And less than two years later, he apparently will depart in a blockbuster trade that could revamp the Tigers' infield, provide money to sign Max Scherzer and turn up the heat for Tigers' fans to 500 degrees in the Hot Stove League.

CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman reported Wednesday evening that there was smoke coming from the Tigers and Texas Rangers about a potential Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade.

No more than a half-hour later, Heyman reported the deal was agreed upon.

Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reported soon after that there were no additional players in the trade.

The deal, CBS Sports reports, is pending physicals and Fielder's approval. He apparently has a limited no-trade clause that includes the Rangers, a team that pursued him when he was a free agent two years ago.

Such a deal would fill a hole for Detroit at second base and provide millions of dollars of payroll relief.

Phone calls to the Tigers were not returned by mid-evening.

Kinsler, 31, is a three-time All-Star second baseman, most recently in 2012. This past season, he hit .277 with 13 home runs and 72 RBIs in 136 games.

He is a lifetime .273 hitter.

Kinsler is in the seventh season of a 10-year deal worth $96.5 million, signed before the 2008 season. He is due $16 million in 2014 and 2015, $14 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017. The contract includes a $12 million team option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout.

That means Kinsler is guaranteed to make $62 million over the remainder of his contract.

Fielder is entering the third season of a nine-year, $214 million deal signed with the Tigers prior to the 2012 season. He is due $24 million for the next seven seasons - for a total of $168 million.

In his two seasons with the Tigers, Fielder made the All-Star Game each season. In 2012, he hit .313 - his first year over .300 - with 30 home runs and 108 RBIs.

In 2013, he hit .279 with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs. His home run totals with Detroit were the two lowest since his rookie season.

He struggled mightily in two postseason appearances with Detroit, driving in only one run combined. He hit .225 in 40 at-bats with one double in 2013.

The Rangers make their lone appearance at Comerica Park next season from May 22-25. The teams play once in Arlington, Texas, June 24-26.

The deal could signal a lot of things for the Tigers:

¦They wouldn't need to sign Omar Infante, their reigning second baseman the past two seasons.

¦They could shift back-to-back American League MVP Miguel Cabrera from third base to first base, where he played from 2008-11.

¦Top prospect Nick Castellanos, who moved from third base to the outfield two summers ago, could return to his natural position at the hot corner.

¦Any kind of salary relief could help the payroll-heavy Tigers pursue contract extensions with Max Scherzer, the reigning Cy Young winner, and Cabrera. Scherzer is a free agent after the 2014 season. Cabrera is a free agent after the 2015 season.

By Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

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