The Dodgers are checking every nook and cranny for a second base upgrade. One name stable in rumors is Ian Kinsler, who reportedly is still one the table.
Kinsler is a “possible fallback option” if Los Angeles cannot acquire Brian Dozier, per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. A trade for Dozier this offseason may be optimistic now.
“The All-Star is a possible fallback for the Dodgers if they can’t work out a deal with Minnesota for Brian Dozier. The Twins may be having second thoughts about dealing Dozier. “The Tigers are a willing trade partner because they’re trying to get rid of payroll. Kinsler is still a top player and he only has two years remaining on his deal,” said one major league executive. Kinsler, 34, is scheduled to earn $11 million in 2017 and there’s a club option for $12 million in 2018 — a very friendly contract for any team to absorb. However, Kinsler said in November that he would need a contract extension to approve a trade to LA.”
Cafardo confirms previous reports that Kinsler requires an extension to accept a trade to Los Angeles. The Dodgers may be less keen on such a suggestion, however. The organization has already been burned by paying players for past production instead of current (Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, etc.). With Willie Calhoun in the wings, extending Kinsler for his twilight years makes little sense. Dozier has two seasons left on his deal but is also 29-years-old, making him more of a longer term solution.
Kinsler checks the boxes for everything L.A. is looking for, but the Tigers’ demands – plus Kinsler’s own – complicate what appears to be a perfect match on-paper.
The Dodgers could pursue a cheaper option and use their assets on an outfielder. L.A. could also just re-sign Chase Utley and give Kike Hernandez more playing time as Calhoun seasons in the minors.