TODAY: Kinsler will remain with the Tigers, Heyman tweets, as no trade was worked out with the team that claimed him.
FRIDAY, 5:23pm: The Brewers did not win the claim for Kinsler, Heyman tweets. Milwaukee had reportedly shown interest in the veteran in recent weeks.
4:54pm: It seems unlikely a deal will be worked out, Heyman hints (Twitter links). The (still unknown) claiming team tried and failed to land Kinsler before the non-waiver deadline and hasn’t made headway since winning the claim. There’s “no optimism” of that changing, per the report.
3:20pm: Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler will not make it through revocable waivers, as an as-yet unidentified team has placed a claim on the veteran, per a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). It’s not yet known whether Kinsler will end up in a new uniform, though.
Detroit still remains in control of Kinsler’s fate. It can work out a trade to send him to the claiming team, allow that club to take on his contract without compensation, or choose instead simply to revoke the waiver placement. In the last scenario, Kinsler would remain under control of the Tigers, but in effect he would no longer be able to be traded this year. (Detroit could still put him on waivers again, but this time would not have the option to revoke the placement.)
According to prior reports, Kinsler’s waiver period ended at noon CST yesterday. From that point on, any claiming team would have 48 hours to work out a deal, meaning we’re just past the halfway point in that period. It’s likely, then, that the Tigers are still working with the mystery team to resolve Kinsler’s fate.
The 35-year-old is a steady performer, even if he may not again match last year’s top-quality output. Kinsler has consistently rated as a premium defender at second and has long been an above-average hitter. That he’s now carries a below-average batting line on the year isn’t much of a concern given his track record, evidence of poor fortune in 2017 (.260 BABIP on a career-best 37.1% hard-hit rate), and the high floor that his glove creates.
That profile makes Kinsler’s contract seem like a fairly valuable asset. He’s earning $11MM this year — with something like $3MM left to go — and can be retained via club option for $12MM for 2018. (The $5MM buyout likely won’t come into play.) Plugging in a perennial first-division regular at that kind of rate would hold appeal to quite a few organizations; clearly, at least one has real interest. Whether or not the claiming team has significant enough interest to get the Tigers to bite on a deal, though, remains to be seen.