Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The first major trade of the baseball offseason turned out to be a blockbuster, as the Texas Rangers acquired five- time All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers Wednesday in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler.
The Rangers will also receive cash considerations from the Tigers as part of the unexpected one-for-one swap, which Yahoo! Sports reported to be $30 million. Fielder still has $168 million remaining on a nine-year, $214 million contract he signed with the Tigers as a free agent prior to the 2012 season.
Fielder also agreed to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate the trade.
The National League leader with 50 home runs while with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007, Fielder put together an excellent debut season with the Tigers, batting a career-high .313 with 30 homers and 108 RBI and playing all 162 games. Those numbers declined this past season, however, with the 29-year- old hitting .279 with 25 homers and 106 RBI before struggling in the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
Still, Fielder has averaged 35 homers and 107 RBI over his eight full seasons in the majors and brings a potent middle-of-the-order bat to a Texas lineup that could lose slugger Nelson Cruz to free agency.
Kinsler's credentials are impressive as well. The 31-year-old is a three-time All-Star who put together a pair of 30-30 (home runs, steals) seasons in 2009 and 2011.
The veteran batted .277 with 13 homers, 72 RBI and 15 steals in 2013 while being limited to 136 games by an intercostal muscle strain. Over eight major league seasons -- all with Texas -- Kinsler owns a .273 average with 156 homers, 539 RBI and 172 stolen bases.
Kinsler, who is signed through 2017 and will earn $16 million this coming season, was deemed expendable by the Rangers with prized prospect Jurickson Profar ready to assume an everyday role.
The Tigers had a hole at second base with Omar Infante currently a free agent, while Fielder's exit could mean a shift back across the diamond for two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera. The 2012 AL Triple Crown winner served as Detroit's regular first baseman from 2008-11 before moving to third following Fielder's signing.
Unloading Fielder's hefty contract could also free up room for Detroit to sign 2013 AL Cy Young Award recipient Max Scherzer to an extension.