The Angels may have made a move to plug the biggest remaining hole on their roster on Wednesday, acquiring veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
Neither club has confirmed the deal, and it has not been reported what the Tigers will receive in return. ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that the Tigers do not yet have a deal in place.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that the Angels were among the 10 teams on Kinsler’s no-trade list, meaning he has to approve the move to Anaheim.
Rosenthal tweeted: “Any delay on Kinsler likely would be due to his no-trade to #Angels. Again, my understanding is deal will happen. Points to be negotiated, perhaps, but he is not going to stay with #Tigers.”
Kinsler, 35, is the most established second baseman available on the trade market, though he is coming off a down year, batting .236 with a .725 OPS, 22 home runs and 52 RBIs in 139 games with Detroit in 2017. A four-time All-Star and an American League Gold Glove finalist last season, Kinsler has hit .273 with a .789 OPS and averaged 23 home runs over 12 years in the Majors.
He will earn $11 million in 2018, the final year of his contract.
With the Angels, Kinsler would reunite with ex-Tigers teammate Justin Upton, who signed a five-year, $106 million deal with the Angels earlier this offseason, as well as his former manager Brad Ausmus, who joined the Angels’ front office last month as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler.
Kinsler would also partner with shortstop Andrelton Simmons to give the Angels one of the elite double-play combinations in the Majors.
The Angels have struggled to get production out of their second basemen in the last couple of years, as their .592 OPS at the position ranked last in the Majors last season. Last winter, the Angels made a similar trade with the Nationals for Danny Espinosa, who provided above-average defense but underwhelmed at the plate, leading to his release in July.
By Maria Guardado