The Rangers and Ian Kinsler have officially agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep the second baseman in place through 2017. The deal is worth $75MM and includes an option for a sixth year.
Kinsler obtains $70MM in salary plus a $5MM buyout for the club option. The BBI Sports Group client doesn't obtain additional no-trade protection, though his ten and five rights will take effect midway through the deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
The two sides were first said to be discussing an extension earlier in the offseason, but talks appeared to pick up steam over the last few weeks. The 29-year-old said he would prefer not to negotiate during the season, but the sides eventually resumed talks. The Rangers held a $10MM option for Kinsler's services next season, which is when the extension will kick in. The deal will keep him in Texas through 2017 and possibly 2018.
Kinsler is a .276/.356/.470 career hitter, though he put together his second 30-30 season in 2011. He also walked (89) more than he struck out (71) and finished 11th in the MVP voting. Kinsler is a two-time All-Star and has thrice finished in the top 26 of the MVP voting. UZR says his defense at second has been among the best at the position over the last three seasons. It's worth noting that 2011 was the first time Kinsler managed to avoid the disabled list in his six full big league seasons.
The contract easily surpasses Dan Uggla's five-year, $62MM with the Braves and may have impacted extension talks between the Reds and Brandon Phillips. Cincinnati recently locked Phillips up to a six-year, $72.5MM contract. Kinsler's deal could also serve as framework for an extension between the Yankees and Robinson Cano. At $14MM per year, Kinsler's contract is largest ever for a second baseman in terms of average annual value, at least until the Yankees exercise Cano's $15MM option for 2013. Chase Utley's seven-year, $85MM contract is still the richest total deal at the position.
Jeff Wilson of The Fort-Worth Star Telegram first reported the agreement (on Twitter) and Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News added the terms of the deal. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.