Detroit Tigers: Three Potential Ian Kinsler Trades

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Aug 9, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) hits a double in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) hits a double in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Jul 20, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) runs the bases after he hit a home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Scenario #1 Detroit Tigers trade Ian Kinsler and Mark Lowe to the San Francisco Giants for infielder Joe Panik, pitcher Chris Heston and prospects Steven Duggar and Ray Black

While the San Francisco Giants didn’t end up winning the World Series this season, they remain a championship contender heading into next season.

Sporting a payroll that includes a number of marquee names and substantial contracts, the Giants are built to win—and win now.

San Francisco’s rotation is loaded with quality, while the team’s lineup features standout performers like Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford.

However, one area where the Giants are in need of an upgrade is at second base. Joe Panik hit just .239 while posting an 89 wRC+. It was a definite down year for the 25-year-old, who hit .309 over his first two seasons. During those two campaigns, he fared much better in terms of wRC+, registering a 106 and a 136 in the statistical category.

In exchange for Kinsler and Lowe’s contract, the Tigers would receive a package centered on Panik.

While San Francisco’s second baseman isn’t eligible for arbitration until after 2017, the Giants do have top prospect Christian Arroyo coming through the system.

The rest of the National League West club’s infield is set with Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, so Kinsler could serve as a bridge to Arroyo while also providing an upgrade.

Additionally, Detroit would receive a potential rotation piece in Heston. Like Panik, he isn’t yet arbitration eligible. The starter didn’t pitch much in the Majors this season, but showcased how he can contribute to a team back in 2015.

Heston pitched to a 3.95 ERA and a 4.02 FIP in 177.2 innings while also logging a 1.5 WAR and a 12-11 record. He’d be a controllable swingman or starter with the Tigers.

The Prospects

In Steven Duggar and Ray Black, Detroit receives two prospects with the upside to be impact performers down the line.

While neither is among San Francisco’s best prospects, the potential remains.

Duggar has the potential to make an impact with his both his speed and power, despite collecting just 15 stolen bases and 10 home runs last season. Already at Double-A, he could reach the Major Leagues by 2018.

The former sixth-round pick would give Detroit another outfield option to potentially replace J.D. Martinez or Justin Upton down the line. In his first full minor league season, Duggar hit .302 with a .368 on-base percentage 78 runs scored, 72 walks, 54 RBI, 28 doubles, 15 stolen bases, 10 home runs and eight triples.

Similar to Jairo Labourt in the David Price deal, Black is the lottery-ticket prospect here.

Despite a significant injury history, the right-hander has the upside to make his inclusion in the deal worth it for Detroit. Able to throw a baseball as fast as 104 mph, Black struck out 53 batters in 31.1 minor league innings last season.

The 26-year-old reliever also held batters to just a .159 batting average at Double-A. He could make his Major League debut sometime in the next two seasons.

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