The news has just started to filter through the baseball world, but it appears to be happening. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers have agreed to a deal that would send Prince Fielder to the Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler. This is a move that will undoubtedly send shockwaves through the entire Oakland Athletics organization, as it shows that the Rangers are not afraid to make bold moves in order to unseat the A’s as champions of the AL West. I don’t think there’s much doubt that Prince Fielder will likely experience a massive power surge by playing 81 games a year at the Ballpark in Arlington.
October 5, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder (28) at bat in front of Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21, right) during the first inning in game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Detroit Tigers 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Rangers can now let stud prospect Jurickson Profar settle into second base, and have massively upgraded over the inconsistent Mitch Moreland at first base. There’s no doubt that this move improves the Rangers overall. For the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera can move back to first base where he will likely be able to maintain his health, and Kinsler will provide them some extra pop from second base. Prospect Nick Castellanos will likely get the first crack at manning the hot corner in 2014 for the Tigers.
The A’s appeared set to stand pat and try to continue the success of 2013 with the guys who got them there, but the Rangers were not content to let that happen. The A’s can’t get into an arms race with anyone, they are outgunned, but now is the time for Billy Beane to outsmart his opponents. Bold moves are often difference makers, and Billy Beane is as good as anyone at thinking outside the box. This is his time to strike back. Failure to do so may release the Athletics’ stranglehold on the AL West title.