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Mid-day talker: Creative Tigers make another great deal with Prince Fielder trade

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: November 21, 2013 - 12:33 PM

 

It's hard to imagine a team getting BETTER by trading away a power hitter who has averaged 35 homers and more than 100 RBI with an OPS over .900 in his career, but it is very possible the Tigers have done just that with the blockbuster sending Prince Fielder to the Rangers for Ian Kinsler.

 

It certainly helps both teams because the Rangers -- who were interested in Fielder when he was a free agent two years ago -- get a big bat in the middle of their lineup.

But for the Tigers, it means even more.

It means, as Jon Heyman notes, freeing up money to pay Max Scherzer. If Detroit was feeling pinched enough that it had to deal one of those two guys this offseason, Fielder is by far the more desirable option to send out. Detroit without Fielder is still a World Series threat; the Tigers without Scherzer are less so.

It also allows Detroit to move Miguel Cabrera to first base, saving wear and tear on his body. Cabrera has been an iron man in his career, seamlessly shifting positions and rarely taking a DH day while getting at least 648 plate appearances or more each of the past 10 seasons.

But Cabrera, even if he is only 30 (one day older than Joe Mauer, as a matter of fact), showed some signs of breakdown last year playing third base. He should stay fresher and healthier moving across the diamond.

And, of course, Kinsler is no slouch. He certainly benefited from playing in the Rangers' hitter-friendly park (career OPS of .898 at home and just .710 away), but he should be a solid fixture at second base for years to come for Detroit.

It's a trade that makes sense for both teams. But we like it even more for Detroit, as we often do with the Tigers.

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