This deal makes a ton of sense for both sides. By trading Kinsler, Texas opens up their second base position for the extremely talented Jurickson Profar. Losing Fielder’s powerful bat in the middle of their line-up may hurt the Tigers some, but Kinsler is a good hitter and 2B is an obvious position of need.
MVP Miguel Cabrera, who has been one of the worst defensive third baseman in the league, can now move across the diamond and play a more natural position for him. It also frees up some money for the Tigers, possibly allowing them to re-sign 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.
On paper, the guy that this trade seems to help the most is Fielder. His left-handed power bat should fit incredibly well in the Ballpark at Arlington. Fielder’s power has seemed to slip a bit since he joined the Tigers. In 2011, his last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Fielder hit 38 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .566. In his first season with Detroit, he hit 30 home runs and slugged .528. In 2013, he hit 25 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .457.
Those numbers are concerning, but when you watch Fielder, you can see that the power is still there. He is still an incredibly strong and powerful player. The Rangers’ home park has historically been a very hitter-friendly field while Comerica Park (Detroit’s stadium) does not appear to give much of an advantage to either the batter or pitcher.
Fielder is only 29-years old, and is still right in the middle of his prime. Back in 2007, when Fielder was 23, he hit 50 home runs with the Brewers. I see no reason, with the obvious help of his new home park, why Fielder cannot slug 50 home runs again.
The numbers tell me that his power is trending downwards, but he still passes the eye test for me. I am still a believer in Fielder, and I think he can do huge things in Texas.