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Grade the trade: Ian Kinsler to Tigers, Prince Fielder to Rangers

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Hey, you two: Exchange uniforms. (USATSI)
Hey, you two: Exchange uniforms. (USATSI)

MORE: Perry: Kinsler-Fielder swap makes sense for both teams

As CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman first reported on Wednesday evening, the Tigers have sent first baseman Prince Fielder and $30 million to the Rangers in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Obviously, it remains to be seen who gets the better end of this blockbuster, but it's never too soon to pass snap judgment. So here come the report cards ...

TeamGradeAnalysis
AFielder has seven years and $168 million left on his contract, so it's a minor miracle that Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers were able to get out from under it. Sure, they take on a somewhat onerous contract in Kinsler's (he's signed through at least 2017 at a minimum cost of $62 million), but there's really no comparing the two obligations. Equally as important, this deal allows the Tigers to shift Miguel Cabrera across the diamond, which should help keep the best hitter in the world healthier in 2014 and beyond. By moving Cabrera, making Fielder go away and adding Kinsler to the fold, the previously awful Detroit infield defense is now vastly improved, no matter who winds up manning third.
BFielder wasn't himself in 2013, but, thanks to some peripheral batted-ball statistics, there's reason to believe that Fielder is in for a solid rebound in 2014. The Rangers have the roster flexibility to DH him if he's willing and able, and the move also helps get Mitch Moreland's bat out of the lineup, which is a good thing for Texas. The $30 million helps significantly, but Fielder's contract is still a bad one. A pleasing consequence of the trade is that phenom Jurickson Profar now has a clear path to regular job at second base.
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