The Mets have discussed trade scenarios involving veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler with the Tigers, according to a report from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). Those talks are preliminary in nature, per the report.
Kinsler, 35, is expected to draw wide interest from teams that are looking for a quality veteran to plug into their everyday lineup without undertaking a lengthy commitment. The 12-year major leaguer is set to earn $11MM this year before reaching free agency.
For the Mets, there’s an obvious hole at second base that remains to be filled. With Neil Walker gone and Asdrubal Cabrera slated to step over to third base, the team doesn’t have a clear option at second.
To be sure, there are 40-man members that could play there: Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds, Gavin Cecchini, and T.J. Rivera. But none seem to be regular options. Flores has shown a solid bat at the game’s highest level but has mostly been utilized in a utility capacity. Reynolds and Cecchini have not hit much in their limited MLB action. And though Rivera has shown some promise since reaching the majors, he’s expected to miss time early after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
It’s not hard to see the appeal, then, in Kinsler. He is coming off of a down season at the plate, in which he slashed just .236/.313/.412 after a string of above-average offensive campaigns. But he remained a top-end defender and has long been one of the sport’s steadier players.
While Kinsler does have partial no-trade protection, indications are he’d be amenable to waiving it given where things are headed for the Tigers. It seems exceedingly likely that he’ll end up changing hands this winter.
It’s worth noting, too, that Morosi says some clubs are also considering Kinsler as an option at third base. (Twitter link.) Kinsler has scant experience at the hot corner — two MLB innings and ten in the minors — but that idea might conceivably open up his market to some additional suitors.