In the one-for-one deal that took less than 24 hours to complete, Detroit will also send cash considerations – reportedly $30 million in payments starting in 2016 – to Texas and will receive Ian Kinsler in return.
Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski said the idea was mentioned at the league’s General Managers meetings last week but serious discussions only began Tuesday morning.
“You could tell both sides were interested and motivated,” Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said (via MLB.com.) “We got the money where both sides could live with it and we made the deal.”
The blockbuster move even surprised some players, including Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Wow!!! Big news… We traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler.— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) November 21, 2013
Fielder is owed $168 million over the next seven years after signing a $214 million deal with the Tigers in 2012. Kinsler, a three-time all-star for the Rangers, has $57 million left in the final four gauranteed seasons of his contract. The Tigers can pick up his $12 million option for 2018 or buy it out for $5 million, according to MLB.com.
The trade could save Detroit more than $70 million, allowing the team to keep American League Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who is a year away from free agency.
The 29-year-old Fielder hit 25 home runs and had a .279 batting average for the ALCS-runner up Tigers this season. Second baseman Kinsler, 31, batted .277 with 13 homers while being limited to 136 games because of injuries.
Daniels is confident the move will add power and depth to the team’s batting lineup.
“A huge focus for us this winter was finding some kind of middle-of-the-order presence and power…I still think there’s still a lot of big run production and years ahead of him,” he said (via Associated Press.)
Strangely enough, both players were featured in an ESPN commercial back in 2010, where they discuss a fantasy baseball trade with actor Adam Scott.