Los Angeles Dodgers: Will Ian Kinsler Come to California?
The Los Angeles Dodgers need a second baseman and the Detroit Tigers have one to offer. With Brian Dozier out of reach, Ian Kinsler emerges as their best bet in between first and second.
With three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and reigning NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager headlining a strong roster, the Los Angles Dodgers are nearly a complete team. Their seemingly only need is at second base and Ian Kinsler is quickly becoming their leading option.
Initially, the Dodgers talked of bringing Brian Dozier onto their roster via trade to fill their hole at second base. However, the Minnesota Twins, aware of Dozier’s worth, are unwilling to trade away their superstar for nothing. Their high asking price is suspected to be the reason why negotiations between both teams suddenly stopped.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 10, 2017
As a result, the Dodgers widened their scopes and reignited interest in Kinsler. Prior to their hunt for Dozier, the Dodgers opened communications with the Detroit Tigers for Kinsler last November. However, with their options for second base running thin, this is their first serious interest for Kinsler all offseason.
The Tigers began their offseason by making their plans to rebuild and shed payroll abundantly clear. Proving their point, Detroit tangled their top talents, including Kinsler, on the trading block. Reeled in by their need for a second baseman, the Dodgers would give up Cody Bellinger in return for Kinsler, according to Jon Morosi.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 16, 2016
Despite sacrificing their top prospect, the Dodgers would acquire Kinsler and his strong right-handed bat. Similar to Dozier, Kinsler batted .306 against lefties in 2016. Meanwhile, southpaws owned the Dodgers and held the team to an overall .213 batting average.
While his age might set off some alarms at first, it has not slowed Kinsler down. Since crossing the 30-year-old threshold in mid-2012, his batting average has gradually increased. Surviving a trade from the Texas Rangers to the Tigers, he owns a combined .284 batting average over the last four seasons. Topping out at .296 in 2015, Kinsler is coming off a .288 batting average and 28 home runs in 2016 at 34 years old.
Furthermore, within his contract is a no-trade list that prevents the Tigers from trading Kinsler to 10 teams without his approval, including the Dodgers. According to Nick Cafardo, his acceptance of a trade to Los Angeles is dependent on a contract extension with the Dodgers.