The Hot Stove continues its’ raging inferno, with another major move from the surprisingly impressive offseason for the Los Angeles Angels continues. Just days after securing an agreement from arguably the hottest free agent this winter in Shohei Ohtani, veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler has reportedly been moved to the City of Angels.
Source: Kinsler to #Angels.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 14, 2017
The acquisition of Kinsler is the latest in a line of moves to improve on what can only be described as a bizarre 2017 campaign, in which they finished second in an American League West division that significantly lacked competitiveness.
Dating back to 2000, the Angels had only two men man the keystone position over nearly a decade-and-a-half, in Adam Kennedy, and later Howie Kendrick. However, since moving Kendrick during the offseason of 2014, the Halos have seen as many second baseman as they did from 2000-2014, with Johnny Giavotella and Danny Espinosa, both of which failed to contribute with steady production.
In Kinsler, the Angels will be getting a consistent, two-way player. The 12-year veteran has seen 11 seasons with an average better than .250, 11 years with at 10 or more home runs, and nine seasons of 60+ runs batted in. Perhaps is most attractive asset, however, is the outstanding defense that he provides.
Awarded the 2017 Fielding Bible, Kinsler finished the 2017 campaign atop all of baseball with 19 DRS, the eighth-best defensive WAR in baseball at 2.6, and a 6.3 Ultimate Zone Rating — second-best to Dee Gordon, now of the Seattle Mariners. In fact, Kinsler’s held a defensive WAR of 1.5 or better in six of his 12 seasons, and holds a career defensive WAR of 16.1, placing him in the top-100 of all-time.
Tigers do not have an Ian Kinsler deal with the Angels yet, according to sources.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 14, 2017
This deal had a bit of a hiccup, however, as Buster Olney updated the initial tweet from Ken Rosenthal by clarifying that a deal was not yet complete. Meanwhile, Chris McCosky, a vet of the Detroit Newspaper scene, had this to say regarding the deal, before it was finalized.
Two things could be snagging Kinsler deal to Angels; still haggling over return, or another team upped the ante (Mets?). My understanding was Kinsler agreed to waive no trade clause for Angels.
— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) December 14, 2017
Regardless of the path this deal took to get past the finish line, the only thing that matters is that a deal is done. The Angels added on to the already prized addition of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, and the late-season addition of Justin Upton, and have seemingly put themselves right in the thick of the wild-card discussion for 2018.