REPORT: Tigers’ Ian Kinsler drawing trade interest from multiple clubs

Let the Major League Baseball “Hot Stove” season commence! Now there is not a ton of activity going on at this point in time but after the GM Meetings last week and the annual Winter Meetings coming up, expect the traffic to be clustered real quickly.

For the Detroit Tigers, don’t expect them to be a huge factor in terms of acquiring players. However, they do have some personnel that could be viewed as valuable to other clubs, and team general manager Al Avila knows that.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler has had his name floated around the rumor mill for a few months now and it appears that he is the subject of some rumors once more.

Kinsler, who turned 35 this past June, is coming off one of his more poor seasons offensively, posting at or near career-lows in many offensive categories. Defensively, it was typical Ian as he nearly took home a second consecutive Gold Glove Award earlier this month.

It was reported last week that the Los Angeles Angels were considered a potential suitor for Kinsler’s services. The Halos were also reportedly one of multiple teams that put in a claim for the veteran second baseman when the Tigers placed him on waivers back in August. Detroit reportedly had trade talks with the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but nothing came to fruition on that front.

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Kinsler is one of very few veterans that stayed put during the complete tear-down and slew of trades the Tigers made this past season, effectively beginning their rebuild as an organization. The veteran has expressed interest in staying in the Motor City to help mentor the young players in the system, something he and Avila were going to discuss at length this offseason.

Kinsler is locked into the 2018 season and set to make $11 million. His club option kicked in when he met the necessary vesting requirements of his contract. However, the general consensus around Tiger Town seems to be that he or shortstop Jose Iglesias, or perhaps both, could be dealt away some time this winter.

A potential “Kinsler to the Angels” deal makes a ton of sense. Los Angeles currently has voids at both second and third base heading into next season. A team that just missed out on the playoffs will surely be looking to upgrade. Despite putting in a claim for Kinsler back in August, they opted to trade for Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves, on the same day they also acquired Justin Upton from the Tigers.

The New York Mets also have a considerable gap at second base after they too fell of a cliff this season and were forced to make some trades. Among them was dealing away steady second baseman Neil Walker to the aforementioned Brewers. Like the Angels, they too have questions at both second and third base heading into the winter.

And it should not come as a complete surprise to see him be coveted as a potential third baseman moving forward. Kinsler back in late July basically accepted a willingness to play the hot corner if a team had plans for him to play there.

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The 2017 MLB Winter Meetings are scheduled to take place December 10-15 down in Orlando, Florida.

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