For a few years now, we as Tigers fans have been treated to one of, if not the, best double-play duo in the Major Leagues. Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias have given fans a reminder of yesteryear when a different #3 and #1 ruled the middle of the ball diamond. However, those days may quickly be coming to an end.
In the coming months, the Detroit Tigers are going to have a tough decision to make. Because, in order for the team to rebuild, one or both of these guys are going to deal. Some thought that the Tigers would just choose to not tender a contract to Iglesias, making him a free agent. However, according to the Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, in a tweet, the Tigers are now “leaning towards tendering a contract to Jose Iglesias…and expect Kinsler to be dealt.”
Though Kinsler could be a veteran leader on the young Tigers in 2018, the logjam up the middle of fresh prospects makes him expendable. Kinsler had a vesting option on his current contract, and with over 600 plate appearances this past season, the Tigers option to buy him out was off the table. And, with a very team friendly contract for next season, Kinsler could be a very tradable asset. Especially for a club looking for a strong lead off bat and stellar defense from their second basemen.
That leaves them with the question of what to do with Jose Iglesias, as he is in the last year of arbitration. Essentially the Tigers could not tender him a contract and let him gain free agency a year early. However, why do that when you could trade him and get something for his departure? Even if Iglesias is tendered a contract, it could be a quick flip. I wouldn’t get too comfortable seeing Iggy up the middle for the Tigers this season; if they have the chance to move him they will.
It is going to be an interesting offseason for the Tigers. They are going to make certain, lower level, veteran signings. But, while they do so, they will also be looking to deal some assets. Their best two options to make deals are their two middle infielders. So while it’s been fun seeing these two guys lock the middle of the field down, one or both of them will be wearing another uniform by the end of 2018.