The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the offseason facing multiple questions, most notably at closer and third base with Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner both reaching free agency. The starting rotation is another area that needs to be addressed as Rich Hill is no longer under contract.
The Dodgers also face some uncertainty at second base. Chase Utley surprisingly emerged as the everyday player at the position in 2016, which bounced Howie Kendrick to left field. Utley is another of the Dodgers’ free agents, and Kendrick was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.
Los Angeles currently doesn’t have a clear answer for second base if Utley is not re-signed. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Dodgers believe Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler would fit well on their roster:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 10, 2016
Tigers general manager Al Avila acknowledged this week the club was willing to listen on trade offers for several of their key veterans. But the Tigers don’t appear set on a complete rebuild.
Kinsler batted .288/.348/.484 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs, 83 RBI and a 124 OPS+ over 153 games. He fared well against left-handed pitching, an area the Dodgers struggled in, hitting .309/.369/.525 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and a 141 OPS+ in 141 plate appearances.
Kinsler is a career .306/.372/.507 hitter off southpaws. On the defensive side, he won a Gold Glove Award after finishing as a finalist in each of the previous two seasons.
The 34-year-old Kinsler has $21 million remaining on his contract over the next two seasons. His deal includes a $10 million club option and $5 million buyout for 2018. Kendrick had one year at $10 million left on the two-year pact he signed in January.