The veteran second baseman has put together a solid career, but there are concerns surrounding any potential move involving him.
The New York Mets have reportedly discussed a trade surrounding Detroit Tigers second baseman, Ian Kinsler, according to Jon Morosi. This comes on the heels of the Mets sending stronger signals about acquiring a second baseman in the offseason.
Let’s analyze Kinsler specifically. When you see the contract, you’ll understand directly where this is going. He would be a glorified one-year rental. At age 35 (he turns 36 in June), he’s due $11 million in 2018. If it goes south for the Mets next year, he’d be a deadline flip for prospects.
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The concern is Kinsler is coming off his worst offensive season in an otherwise solid career. He is 12th among all active players in wins above replacement. However, last year, Kinsler set new lows in batting average, OPS, and offensive WAR. Some might naturally question if his best days are officially behind him.
Even at a more advanced age, the positives are still there for Kinsler. He still offers above average defense that netted him a gold glove award in 2016. He also grades out across the board as one of the better defensive second basemen in the league. Kinsler doesn’t steal a lot of bases nowadays, but he is efficient, converting at 78.1 percent when he does try. The volume in that category has naturally declined with age.
All things told, I think the questions outweigh the positives with such a move. The Mets are rumored to have been more vocal about getting a second baseman, but is that going to be solved with a one-year rental who may be near the end of his career? Also, I must ask this question: are the Mets really that bad off at second base?
While there are no defensive stalwarts at second base on this roster by any means, the Mets do have Wilmer Flores who can play second effectively enough. Plus, TJ Rivera could return at some point, which would give the Mets two young players who haven’t reached their ceiling yet offensively and who are not total liabilities at the position in question. Not to mention the fact that the Mets picked up Asdrubal Cabrera‘s option.
Kinsler has been a productive player for the better part of a decade plus, but there has to be a balance of trying to win next year and factoring beyond 2018. In this scenario, we’ll be talking about filling this position again by this time next winter.