2:17pm: The Brewers’ interest in Kinsler will likely hinge on fellow second baseman Eric Sogard’s health, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets. Sogard is returning from a DL stint caused by an ankle injury. He’s hit brilliantly in 162 plate appearances this season, with a .331/.438/.485 line thus far.
10:54am: The Brewers are exploring the possibility of trading for Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets. The Brewers have also recently been connected to Tigers trade possibilities like Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson, so it’s possible a deal for Kinsler could be one of many trade scenarios involving Detroit they’re considering.
The 35-year-old Kinsler is currently hitting .244/.324/.397 while receiving typically above-average reviews for his defense. Current Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar has struggled this season, batting just .223/.287/.350 after a breakout season in 2016. Acquiring Kinsler might allow the Brewers to move Villar back into the utility role he occupied last year. The extension Kinsler signed with the Rangers in 2012 is front-loaded, so it’s less of a concern than it might typically be for a payroll-conscious team like the Brewers — Kinsler makes just $11MM this season, plus a $5MM buyout or a very reasonable $10MM option for 2018.
The 52-47 Brewers are somewhat of a surprise contender this year and are only now emerging from a retooling phase. They’re also in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Seen from that perspective, they might be somewhat reluctant to deal top young talent for a veteran like Kinsler. When they’ve contended in the recent past, though, they have not been shy about paying high prices for stars like Zack Greinke (for whom they gave up a very costly package of Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, Alcides Escobar and Jeremy Jeffress) and CC Sabathia (who cost them Michael Brantley). Their outlook on such trades might be somewhat different now with David Stearns replacing Doug Melvin at GM, but then again perhaps not, since they’ve also been strongly connected to Athletics ace Sonny Gray.