After the 2012 season came to a close, I thought the best thing the Rangers could do was trade one of their best chips when his value was at its highest.
Trading Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar or Ian Kinsler?
The Texas Rangers needed to make improvements and they had the player to use as the center piece of a big-time deal to get a solid bat for the middle of their lineup. The move would have been widely unpopular, sure, but then again fans get attached to their favorite players and often can’t see through the blinders they seem to wear more often than not.
Elvis Andrus, the team’s young shortstop, had his best season as a Ranger in several different categories including at bats (629), hits (180), doubles (31), triples (9) and RBI (62) just to name a few.
Those numbers, as well as Andrus’ age, would make any team stand up and take notice. Teams that would love to have his kind of talent and ability, not to mention having a piece or two the Rangers could use in return. It seemed like a no-brainer to me at the time.
Fast forward to April 2013: the Rangers made their decision clear. It wasn’t one with which I agreed, but it was one the front office believed was the best for the club going forward.
They signed Andrus to an extension that would keep him in a Rangers’ uniform through the 2022 season with an option for 2023. In other words, they gave him the same amount of years (10) the Los Angeles Angels gave Albert Pujols.
That left me wondering what exactly they were going to do with another young infield phenom, 20-year-old shortstop Jurickson Profar?
Wasn’t this young kid supposed to be even better than Andrus in a few years, on both sides of the ball? Surely they were going to find a place for a player that came with that much hype? They couldn’t just use him as a depth piece, could they?
With 2013 in the review mirror, the answer to that question became clear as well. It made me wonder just what the plans were for this team going forward. They certainly weren’t going to trade Andrus after signing him to a 10-year extension and it didn’t seem like the outfield was quite the fit Texas was hoping for after that experiment went nowhere.
With Mitch Moreland seemingly on his way out, the Rangers could slide Profar into the first base position but it would leave fans, once again, clamoring for that “big bat” at the corner outfield spot. Something they haven’t had in quite some time.
It won’t be first base. Surely, it won’t be at shortstop. Won’t be at third base for that matter. So where does that leave this team going into an important offseason? One idea that may be less unpopular than the idea of trading Elvis Andrus but still not looked upon to kindly among a certain portion of the fan base.
Trading Ian Kinsler. No more questions.
His numbers have declined each of the last two seasons, he’s owed $16 million each of the next two seasons, $14 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017, his home run numbers went from 32 in 2011 down to 13 two seasons later and his walks from 89 to 51 in the same time span and was caught stealing 11 times out his 26 attempted steals (42.3% success rate).
This isn’t about loyalty anymore and this front office proved that after dealing Michael Young to the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 2013 season. They need to have the same mindset when it comes to Kinsler.
It’s nothing personal on trading Ian Kinsler, it’s a business. And it’s time for the Rangers to do what’s best for the team and for a struggling offense. Sometimes doing the most drastic thing gives you drastic results and not always in a bad way.
There are those who like Kinsler and I don’t blame them. But if you’re on social media, you’ll quickly realize that Kinsler is among one of the most debated players on this team, not to mention one of the more frustrating at times (like getting picked off against Tampa Bay on Monday night).
Jurickson Profar needs to play every single day and have a full time spot with the Texas Rangers in 2014. Leaving him on the bench and giving him a spot start here and there isn’t going to do them a bit of good. It’s time for the young kid to play every day, there’s a reason he was the top prospect in baseball according to several publications.
They may have a hard time finding a match with a team who’s willing to take on what Kinsler has left on his deal, but if Texas has to eat most of that to get better players back in the deal, then that’s what needs to be done.
Just like it was time to trade Michael Young, regardless of his popularity among the fan base, it’s time to take a serious look at trading Ian Kinsler.