With Chase Utley reaching free agency and Howie Kendrick now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers very clearly need to address the void at second base.
General manager Farhan Zaidi mentioned internal options Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor as candidates to start, but it’s difficult to envision either one of the two being anointed the starter. Thus, the Dodgers appear likely to fill the vacancy from outside the organization.
On Wednesday, it was said the Dodgers and Tigers were still discussing a trade involving Kinsler, with Detroit interested in Cody Bellinger.
A previous report indicated the Dodgers view Kinsler as a good fit for their roster. However, the 34-year-old has a limited no-trade clause. The Dodgers are on the list of teams he must approve a trade to.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Kinsler’s agent, Jay Franklin, said his client is willing to approve a trade in exchange for a contract extension:
“If one of the 10 teams happens to call and wants to talk about it, we’re open to talking about it,” Franklin said. “(But) they’re going to have to extend him for us to waive the no-trade.”
Considering Kinsler’s age and the Dodgers’ overall directive to field a younger team, the two would no longer appear to be a match. Even when taking into account Kinsler is coming off a strong season.
He hit .288/.348/.484 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs, 83 RBI and a 124 OPS+ over 153 games. What’s more, Kinsler fared well against left-handed pitching, batting .309/.369/.525 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and a 141 OPS+ in 141 plate appearances.
He won a Gold Glove award this season after finishing as a finalist in 2014 and 2015. Kinsler has $21 million remaining on his contract through 2018. Though, his deal includes a $10 million club option and $5 million buyout for the final year.