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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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Jun 16, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; DDetroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) fields a grounder against the Kansas City Royals in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Scenario #2 Detroit Tigers Trade Ian Kinsler to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Trayce Thompson, pitcher Alex Wood and prospects Austin Barnes and Mitchell White

Like their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a top infield prospect close to the Majors in Willie Calhoun. Also like the Giants, Los Angeles’ second baseman weren’t exactly the gold standard at the position.

The Dodgers’ group of second baseman finished 24th in the league in wOBA, 22nd in wRC+ and 21st in WAR. They also finished with the ninth-highest strikeout percentage in the league.

In other words, Ian Kinsler would be a fit to serve as both an upgrade over the team’s incumbents and a bridge to Calhoun.

With starting second baseman Chase Utley scheduled to hit free agency following the World Series, the Dodgers need for a second baseman could be even greater.

The Trade

In exchange for Kinsler, Detroit would receive two controllable, young talents and a pair of intriguing prospects.

Thompson only appeared in 80 games for the Dodgers, but the outfielder flashed his immense upside. Able to play all three positions, the 25-year-old collected 32 RBI, 31 runs scored, 13 home runs, 11 doubles and five stolen bases.

He also slugged .436 and finished fourth on Los Angeles roster with a .212 ISO that ranked ahead of Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig.

The former White Sox player could step in as Detroit’s everyday center fielder before moving to a corner spot if J.D. Martinez or Justin Upton departs. In the event that Martinez and Upton aren’t long-term fits in the Motor City, a future outfield of Thompson, JaCoby Jones and Christin Stewart sounds extremely intriguing.

Mentioned in a previous article as a player the Tigers could receive in a deal for Martinez, Wood owns a 3.29 xFIP and a 3.48 SIERA in his career.

Thompson is controllable through 2021, and isn’t arbitration eligible until after the 2018 season. The 25-year-old Wood is controllable through 2019.

The Prospects

At 26-years-old and with 41 games of Major League experience under his belt, Austin Barnes isn’t the exact definition of a prospect. However, he brings fascinating upside.

The former ninth-round pick is the rare backup catcher who can also play second and third base. That ability to play a multitude of positions could make him—at the very least—a utility option in Detroit for the next eight years. Barnes is a .299 career hitter in the minors.

Mitchell White is more of the traditional prospect.

Recently drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, White has yet to allow a run as a professional. The pitcher has given up just seven hits, six walks and no runs while striking out 30 over his first 22 innings.

With a fastball that can hit the mid-90s, not to mention two promising off-speed offerings, White could make an impact as either a starter or reliever at the Major League level.

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