Is Ian Kinsler sending a statement to Tigers GM Al Avila?

It’s Day 3 of the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings down in Orlando, Florida and things are slowly but surely starting to pick up. Some news surrounding the Detroit Tigers includes their interest in potentially reuniting with a former Tigers reliever.

Perhaps the biggest news regarding the club revolves around a trio of players on the current roster — Michael Fulmer, Shane Greene and Ian Kinsler — being the subject of trade talks at the meetings. The elder statesman in that group is probably the most likely to trade for a number of reasons. However, there is one major roadblock that could prevent Kinsler from being shipped out.

The 35-year-old has a partial no-trade clause in his contract that includes 10 teams in which he can block a trade to.

Why is this significant? Well for anyone who has followed along with trade rumors surrounding Kinsler, going back to this time last year, there have been roughly a handful of teams that he has been linked to in that year’s span.

Among the notable suitors interested in the services of the Gold Glove second baseman include the Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. The Angels were reportedly one of many teams who put in a claim for Kinsler when he was placed on waivers back in August. The Brewers got engaged in talks with the Tigers prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. And the Mets are among the more recent teams to make their interest publicly known in trading for Kinsler.

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Tigers general manager Al Avila said before the Winter Meetings officially began that there was a real possibility that Kinsler be shipped out of Detroit. He’s an attractive piece for many clubs, given his defensive prowess and being just a one-year commitment at a rather affordable rate. And most around the sport see Kinsler as a prime candidate to bounce back offensively, after compiling one of his least productive seasons of his career at the plate.

The fact that Kinsler, who has the power to alter his list of no-trade teams, has tabbed clubs that are the most interested in trading for him speaks a bit to his mindset right now and moving forward. He has also been very vocal about wanting an extension beyond the 2018 season, which has compromised any trade talks even more.

At the same time, Kinsler has expressed an interest in staying with the Tigers through the rebuild and serving as a crucial mentor role to the team’s younger players coming up to the majors. There has even been an argument made as to why Avila should hold on to Kinsler moving forward. And being under contract for just one more season, it wouldn’t be crazy to expect him play with a little chip on his shoulder and prove to nay-sayers that 2017 was a fluke for him offensively.

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This is a friendly reminder to us all that athletes are humans too and have real lives outside of baseball. Most if not all like and prefer some stability in their professional career, thus making them more comfortable. In Kinsler’s scenario, being traded to play one season elsewhere and then hitting the open market is something he would not prefer, unless there was an extension on the table for said club.