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Detroit Tigers: Three hypothetical Ian Kinsler trades involving the Angels

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DETROIT, MI - JUNE 7: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers singles to left field in the tenth inning for the game winning hit during the game against the Toronto Blue Jay on June 7, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 3-2. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 7: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers singles to left field in the tenth inning for the game winning hit during the game against the Toronto Blue Jay on June 7, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 3-2. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 19: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers makes a play at second base to get out Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning during a MLB game at Comerica Park on August 19, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Detroit Tigers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler has reportedly been linked to the Los Angeles Angels. Here are a few hypothetical trade scenarios that could send him out west.

Detroit Tigers‘ beat writer Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reported in a tweet that the Los Angeles Angels have had “extensive internal discussions about acquiring Ian Kinsler.”

On paper it is a perfect fit. Last year’s combination of Danny Espinosa, Kaleb Cowart and Brandon Phillips combined for a .207 batting average and a -0.3 fWAR for the Angels.

Those are spectacularly bad results at a key position for a team that was contending for a wild card spot.

Phillips and Espinosa have both hit the open market. Cowart is still around, but the Angels may prefer to keep him in a utility role after losing Cliff Pennington to free agency as well.

Ian Kinsler

That leads us to Kinsler, who is coming off a rough 2017 campaign that saw him post a .236 batting average and a 91 wRC+. Kinsler’s 2.4 fWAR was his lowest since 2006.

Still, the second baseman managed to hit 22 home runs, steal 14 bases, play above average defense at second and post a 9.0% walk-rate, his highest since 2011.

All those things would make Kinsler an extremely appealing option for the Halos, who are in desperate need of a top of the order hitter to bat in front of superstar Mike Trout.

Per Spotrac, Kinsler has one year and $11M left on his contract. While $11M is not horrible for a player of Kinsler’s caliber, the Angels may be hesitant to move any long-term assets for a one year rental.

There are three ways that high-salaried big leaguers like Kinsler get dealt.

One, the Tigers trade Kinsler and eat a big chunk of his contract to obtain a good prospect in return.

Two, the Tigers trade Kinsler and get rid of his entire contract, only obtaining an average or low-end prospect in return.

Three, the Tigers take on a salaried Major Leaguer in return to help even out the money.

The next three pages include one of each trade scenario that could land Kinsler in LA and provide Detroit with some salary relief and/or a prospect or two.

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