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Surprised-BabyThis came from so very out of nowhere, and the details are spotty, but Jon Heyman is reporting that the Tigers and Rangers have agreed to a huge swap involving Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler.

As of this moment (7:34pm CT), there are so many things to still be worked out/reported, as you can see in Heyman’s current version of the report – other players involved? How’s the money going to shake out? Will Fielder waive his no-trade clause?

If and when this deal goes down, the ramifications could be extremely far-reaching. I’ll need some time to digest and analyze. The immediate stuff is obvious, though: the Rangers would be opening up an infield spot for Jurickson Profar while simultaneously adding a huge bat. The Tigers would fill their empty second base hole, save some money (to be spent on Max Scherzer?), and open up first base for someone like Victor Martinez or Miguel Cabrera or a free agent.

UPDATE (7:40pm CT): Multiple other sources are confirming a one-for-one swap between the teams, with the money situation still unreported.

  • Joey

    Rosenthal:
    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 1m
    #Rangers-#Tigers deal was 1-for-1 – Kinsler for Fielder – as of this afternoon, per one source. Not yet known if that is final trade.

    • CGruegs45

      Thought this was a Cubs only site, Brett. #GuessNot #LMAO

      • Matt

        This is a pretty big trade, even if it is in the other league, it’s big enough to transcend something like that.

      • Kev

        #HashtagsAreStupid

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Where in the world did you get that idea? Brett regularly posts league wide content, and he has for years.

      • CubsFaninMS

        CGruegs45:

        You are clearly an asshole. If you are an asshole and you have laughed your ass off, this does not leave much.

  • Blake

    Texas needs a bat and Fielder will MASH in that ballpark. Long term it works for Detroit (resign Scherzer?) but their lineup likely takes a hit.

    Come on Jed, make some moves.

  • Cerambam

    Wow this is exciting.

    • Cerambam

      That was not sarcastic lol

  • EB

    Smart trade. Texas found their bat to replace Cruz, and Profar is no longer on the bench. Detroit now has money for Scherzer. I love this trade.

  • YourResidentJag

    Texas not on list of no-trade clause teams for Fielder.

  • North Side Irish

    Miggy to 1B and Castellanos can play 3B. Rangers now have a home for Profar and Prince might hit 50 in that park.

    • YourResidentJag

      Castellanos will play in LF, though. Again, like I said, Porcello/Fister will be traded for a 3b. Headley???

  • Andy

    The Tigers operate under a cloak of darkness.

  • cubes

    this is a big boy baseball team trade… cubs can go back to counting there 20year olds on the 40 man now… nothing for them to see here.

    • Brains

      yep

    • mjhurdle

      *their

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I bet the Tigers and Rangers are kicking themselves for forgetting to add 20-year-olds to their 40-man today since they were so focused on a big boy trade.

      What’s that? The did make 40-man moves today, too? Like every team in baseball? Well I’ll be a trolling idiot!

      Your name is perfectly unironic (and/or you’re ruining the word).

      • cubes

        what a tool

        • MichiganGoat

          What did Ace say about his patience?

          • YourResidentJag

            Why don’t you let Ace respond that?

      • cubes

        weren’t you just saying you don’t have a hostile environment here?

        and yet you yourself use hostile language cause you dislike that I dislike meddling with roster scrap heap players year in year out.

        pretty professional.

        • ETS

          :/ trolls gunna troll.

    • Jon

      What could have the cubs used to acquire either of these players

      • TWC

        Dolla-dolla-billz.

    • Jason P

      It would be quite an easy count. Lets see… 0. 0 20-year-olds on the 40-man.

    • When the Music’s Over

      I didn’t see anything wrong with this comment either. It’s certainly not not true.

  • Joey

    Other “Bad” deals that teams might try to get out of:

    Jayson Werth: 4 yrs, 83 million
    Andre Ethier: 4 yrs, 69 million + 17.5 vesting option (550 PA in 2017 or 1100 PA in 2016+2017)
    Matt Kemp: 6 yrs, 128 million
    Edwin Jackson 3 yrs, 39 million (for reference)
    Ryan Howard 3 yrs, 75 million (+ 23 mil team option with a 10 (!) million dollar buyout)

    If Vernon Wells’ awful deal can get traded, twice, then you can never say never. Most attractive deal for the Cubs (all are virtually impossible with the current financial limitations, besides Jackson’s) is definitely Ethier.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      With money included, Werth and Kemp both look intriguing.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        And with a bit more money, I’d probably bite on Ethier if he’d agree to let the option year be bought out.

      • Andrew

        Don’t see why the Nat’s would want to move Werth, he was pretty great for them last year and they are in a great position to compete next year. I’ve heard they’re looking to trade Span though who the cubs should be interested in.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          I agree, Werth was one of the best hitters in the league last summer, can’t see why the Nationals would not want him in their lineup next season.
          I find it interesting that some view Fielder as a bad contract. Had a slight down year last year, but he sure seems like a 25mil. a year hitter to me, and he is under contract only through age 36.

          • YourResidentJag

            He was also in the doghouse with the owner for his comments. Never a good idea.

            • jay

              Etheir?? Why? At least Kemp is a legit stud when healthy. Ethier’s turned into Shawn Green (and not the good version).

              • YourResidentJag

                Heh?

                • Rizzovoir Dog

                  Woud LA do Ejax for Ethier?

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    I wouldn’t.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Etheir has 6 straight years of an OPS+ over 120 and hit .294/.394/.460 against right handed pitching this year.

                That’s why.

                I dont’ want that entire contract, but if LA ate a good chunk of it, bring him on.

    • mjhurdle

      Out of those, the most appealing to me is Edwin Jackson :)

      But i think that Werth would be a good trade for the right price.

    • YourResidentJag

      I wouldn’t include Werth as part of that list.

      • Joey

        I did because they were down on him last season and they are due to give massive contracts to Zimmermann, Harper, Strasburg, Desmond, etc. He’s definitely least likely to get dealt on that list besides Howard. One of Ethier/Kemp will certainly be moved.

        • Joey

          Before last season**

        • YourResidentJag

          Possibly but unless there engaging in a trade such as this which in their case is prob unlikely I don’t see him being traded. This trade clearly was for Scherzer.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Kemp: no. Watched LA this year a lot after June 1st. He got hurt going home on a play in Washington and SF on a swing. He’ll likely spend 30-40 games a season on the DL from here on out. But his biggest problem: contact.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=5631&position=OF#platediscipline

      His contact outside the zone really dipped in 2013. 15% differential…is not something you see very often for any MLB player. His overall contact is not much better. Let LA keep him.

    • Isaac

      Edwin Jackson is a bad contract?!?! Kyle tried to convince me we could shed his salary *and* get four (yes, four) Pierce Johnson’s in the mean time!

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Edwin was great in the Peripherals League.

        • YourResidentJag

          Edwin would be great #4 on a playoff team.

        • Isaac

          “Great” is a dramatic overstatement. He was “better” than his miserable ERA suggested. And no, he would not be a “great” four on a playoff team, he wouldn’t have made a rotation for most of the playoff teams this year.

          • YourResidentJag

            He will be if he regresses back to the mean.

      • jt

        Jackson sucked the first 2 months.
        June through the end of the year Jackson was pretty much the pitcher they bought. There were some games he was just lousy (the first game in June and the last game of the season were examples). But there were a lot of games in that stretch he was good.
        If he pitches as he did the last 4 months then his contract will be of justifiable value.

    • CubsFaninMS

      I like the idea of trading Edwin Jackson if (a) we can successfully sell this year’s peripherals to another team as opposed to the actual results and (b) we can lock up Jeff Samardzija and (c) if it’s not for another pitcher. Not doing (b) will set back our rebuilding efforts in a manner that is too “continuous” for my tastes if we trade Edwin Jackson at the same time. Our front office needs a hail mary or two instead of a bunch of runs gaining a yard or two at a time. You need both types of moves to maintain a successful Major League team long term and, after three years of rebuilding, now is the time to throw one of those hail maries if the opporuntiy presents itself.

      • ETS

        Buy high, sell low!

        wait, what?

  • Eric

    Wow, very unexpected trade. This looks like one of those “perfect for both teams” type of trade. Hilarious that people still find a way to use a completely unrelated trade to bash the Cubs.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Wow. That is a ballsy move by both clubs, and I actually like it a lot for both clubs. Fielder is quite simply one of the best and most consistent run producers in baseball who gets unfairly maligned for his body. But he can reliably be penciled in for 110 plus RBIs. With Texas, the luxury will exist to play him at 1st base AND DH.

    Meanwhile, from Detroit’s perspective they lose a monster bat and critical lineup protection for Miggy Cabrera (which should NOT be underrated), but they also open up 1st base for Cabrera AND open up 3rd base for hotshot prospect Nick Castellanos. Ian Kinsler fills a big gap at 2nd base, AND can hit at the top of lineup in combo with Austin Jackson.

    AND, I’ll bet the ranch this move means either Jacoby Ellsbury or Sin Sho Choo is headed to Detroit.

    • Jon

      RBIs are a worthless stat

      • Blackhawks1963

        Come back to me when Prince hits 40 plus bombs and drives in 125 for the Rangers. Like I said, this was a great trade for BOTH teams. Tons of logic for both teams.

        Ellsbury or Choo is headed to Detroit. Absolutely.

        • Jon

          Again, I don’t give a fuck about RBIs grandpa. You might as well tell me his favorite color is blue.

          • MichiganGoat

            But what about BA? ;)

          • cub2014

            jon you are an ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • wvcubsfan

            worthless or team dependent?

            If RBI are meaningless then you shouldn’t have had an issue with the horrid batting with RISP last year, or the fact that the team was near the bottom of runs scored.

            Last time I checked most runs scored result in an RBI, and as long as one team has to score more runs than the other team to win the game I fail to see how RBI are meaningless.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Runs are meaningful. Whether the run is an RBI or not is not.

              Jon has the right of it: Fielder’s slash line will tell us his worth, not his RBI. But with the Rangers’ lineup, he can have a pretty bad year and still rack up a lot of RBI. His teammates will create the runs in question.

            • MichiganGoat

              The argument is that RBI (minus HR) are dependent on players in front of the hitter getting on base, so it not the best way to measure a players skill since it requires other players performing as well.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Mind you, I think that Fielder is going to do really well in Texas. He’ll probably pick up a handful of HR because of the ballpark differences. That will pad his old-school stats a bit.

                More importantly, though, Fielder will provide several “Wins Above Moreland.” (We really need an “X” in “Wins Above X” where X = Wins Above Lineup Hole We Had Before.”)

                And Kinsler is a great pickup for the Tigers. Obviously, he’ll probably lose some HR himself, but he should create a lot more runs than Infante while (hopefully) not costing too many more with his glove.

                In a way, this trade is so sensible that I wonder why nobody thought of it before hand!

                • jt

                  “Wins Above Moreland.”
                  –Doc
                  if the look is linear then you still have to look at Profar’s “Wins Above Kinsler”.

                  • DocPeter Wimsey

                    I was going to add that I am expecting Profar to put up Kinsler-like numbers in the very near future. You are correct that the deal works only if WAM + WAK > 0. I think that it will be.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I don’t agree with the way Jon went about it, but RBI’s are worthless as an individual stat. The RBI is a team stat. The same as W/L for pitchers.

              • MichiganGoat

                But batting average is still king right?

                • Cubbie Blues

                  At least there is some use in AVG. W/L and RBI have no merit for an individual player at all.

                  • cub2014

                    what about hitting with RISP does that
                    mean anything? of course it does! ya
                    thats pretty important.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Sure a players OPS with RISP is important what are getting at?

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Nope.

                    • cub2014

                      goat, most RBI’s come with RISP.
                      some people bring them in some leave
                      them on base. it isnt an absolutely fair
                      stat but which one is? Its certainly not
                      meaningless.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    BA can and should be replaced by OBP, SLG, or simply OPS wins and losses have no purpose and RBI are a fine if they would get divided between the players that actually produced those runs but to give two RBIs to a player that hits a single with runners on 2nd and 3rd completely diminishes the value of the players that got to 2nd and 3rd.

                    • Jon

                      All you need is TWTW

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Not just TWTW but plenty of scrappy BellyFire.

                    • jt

                      BA is closer to being primary than OBP and SLG gives an indicator as to those attributes (x-basehits) that prevent it from being primary.
                      Unless it is Choo getting hit a ton of times you can pretty much estimate how often a guy walks by looking at the diff twixt BA and OBP.
                      Sure, OBP is most often what you want and BA probably should not often be used without referencing it. But BA helps quickly sketch a fairly complete picture of what a batter brings to the plate.

              • Jon

                He(Blackhawks1963) for weeks now has been posting with this condescending tone. Am I an asshole, yeah, but he’s had it coming

              • cubfanincardinalland

                Career RBI leaders.
                Hank Aaron
                Babe Ruth
                Cap Anson
                Barry Bonds
                Lou Gehrig
                Alex Rodriguez
                Stan Musial
                Ty Cobb
                Jimmie Foxx
                Eddie Murray
                Willie Mays
                Mel Ott
                Carl Yazstremski
                Ted Williams
                Ken Griffey Jr.
                Yeah, these guys were not really that good, just on teams with a lot of guys that got on base? Sometimes sabermetrics comes up with some goofy stuff.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Yes and many if those are also career leaders in HR so of course they have ton of RBIs, but outside of solo HR they did not put the players that scored on base.

                  I’m awaiting for somebody to throw out the “C” word.

                • Blackhawks1963

                  Precisely.

                  • cub2014

                    Would you argue with RBI’s as a
                    percent of opportunites that would
                    be the more accurate and intriguing
                    stat.

                    • cub2014

                      its like the argument that WHIP
                      is all supreme and ERA is meaningless

                    • Drew7

                      No, because the lasts thing you want is a player (like Votto this year) swinging at non-strikes simply because there are runners on.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Well WHIP and FIP are better.

                    • Drew7

                      When’s the last time someone said WHIP was, “all supreme”?

          • hansman

            Whoa, Jon said something useful.

        • Blackhawks1963

          I can’t fix stupid, so won’t try. RBIs are a significant indicator of the true value of a ballplayer who is in place to be a middle of the order run producer. Thanks for playing our game Poindexter. Vanna will have a party gift to provide you on the way out the door.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            And phlogiston is important in fires, too……

          • MichiganGoat

            See Docs post above, RBIs should be low on your player evaluations.

            • Blackhawks1963

              Did I suggest that RBIs are the end all and be all to measure the value of a player who is defined as a run producer? No, I did not. That said, RBIs are a supreme measure for a guy like Miggy or Prince. And of course, there are other factors that need to be accounted for, as in lineup protection, the overall makeup of the lineup card, etc. Hence why things like OPS take on major importance. But to diminish the importance of RBIs when other things are held on constant is ignorance run amuk by the sabermagicians. You can attack that point all you want, but as someone who played the game thru sophmore year of college and has at least some nominal basis for opinion, I can tell you that you won’t find a manager on this planet at ANY LEVEL who dismisses the value of the RBI statistic for evaluating players defined and/or in the role of “run producer.”

              • Cubbie Blues

                “Did I suggest that RBIs are the end all and be all to measure the value of a player who is defined as a run producer?”

                Yes

                “RBIs are a supreme measure for a guy like Miggy or Prince.”

              • mjhurdle

                nice, we got “RBIs as a Supreme Measure”, the vague “overall makeup of a lineup card”, and a “I played baseball at a high level so my opinion is more valid” all in the same post.

                Well done sir!

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I wonder if he played with BlueBlud.

                • Blackhawks1963

                  I’m done arguing my point. This is a very divided topic when the sabermagicians are pitted against baseball logic. I embrace a lot of sabermetric concepts. But that said, I will never dismiss RBI has being a supreme measure of a run producer on a team that is otherwise soundly constructed. And before you jump to conclusions and rip my intelligence, my brain has the aptitude to understand lofty statistical concepts. I’ve got an MBA and another graduate degree where statistical coursework was intensive en route to earning each degree.

                  Are there great metrics that can be applied to run production beyond the RBI? Absolutely. And one of them happens also to be the good old RBI. That doesn’t mean somebody can ignorantly compare somebody like the 2013 Prince Fielder to the 2013 Anthony Rizzo, given lineup makeup, etc., etc. So please don’t dummy down how evaluation of RBI is made.

                  • hansman

                    “This is a very divided topic when the sabermagicians are pitted against baseball logic.”

                    If that is the battle then 29 baseball front offices have determined that sabermagicians have won the war. We shall allow baseball logic a continued existence; however, it’s going to be like post-war Germany, left with nothing to do but leave the smarter folks in the room with something to bicker about.

              • Jon

                Oh god, now you are going blubud on us?

                • Blackhawks1963

                  You attacked my fundamental grasp of statistics as applied to baseball So I shall explain myself in the teeth of attack.

                  You have your ingrained opinion based on reading lots of material. Bully for you. But baseball isn’t played for real on a Nintendo machine. Sabermetics and advanced statisical concepts can and do have a big role to play in baseball. But you ignore things like W/L, RBIs, etc at your own peril. Don’t believe me then go ask a few people physically connected to the game. Hop on your bike and go talk with your local high school baseball coach. Or the kid down the block who plays Pony League.

                  • Kyle

                    Nice to meet you, Mr. Chass.

                    • Drew7

                      Was that the writer the guys at firejoemorgan.com used to roast?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Yes Murray Chass

                    • Drew7

                      The guy with the fedora, right? Is he still around?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Fedora… wasn’t that Goldstein, the guy who joined the Houston front office?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Mr. Chass does have a website and he is still writing poor articles.

                    • hansman

                      It was Goldstein

                    • MichiganGoat

                      If you want a real hoot google his name go to his website and read his attack of WAR. I’m sure many on here might LOVE his thoughts but it’s quite amusing to read.

              • ssckelley

                Oh yeah? Well I coach little league.

                SO THERE!

              • Drew7

                What’d you think of Votto’s season this year?

                • Blackhawks1963

                  I thiink Votto is an elite player, but yes it is a damning conclusion that his RBI total was so low given a lineup card that had Choo and Phillips hitting above him, and Bruce below. 70 or so RBIs was absolutely postively not good. Do I judge Votto in only that regard? Of course not. I do indeed also take a look at his OPS and a variety of other things. But you won’t find a baseball person on this planet who doesn’t take issue with Votto’s low RBI total in 2013.

                  • Jon

                    He was too busy clogging the bases to concern himself with RBIs

                  • Drew7

                    “But you won’t find a baseball person on this planet who doesn’t take issue with Votto’s low RBI total in 2013.”

                    I appreciate the civil response, but this part is simply incorrect.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Yeah there is not a single FO that looks at a player and says “Well every number we’ve explored and looked at say this player is great BUT we can’t have a player with such a low RBI total.”

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    I am a baseball person and I don’t take issue with his low RBI total in 2013.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                “when other things are held on constant”

                There’s the problem.

                Baseball is so highly variable from one lineup to the next that those other things are never held constant. For that reason we can’t properly interpret differences in RBI rate with any kind of accuracy. Any attempt to inject Player A into Player B’s at bats and predict what the outcome would have been is little more than glorified guesswork.

                That’s why we tend to prefer harder, more objective measurements like OPS, and their derivative calculations, such as wRC+.

            • jt

              “RBIs should be low on your player evaluations.”
              –MG
              I’m not sure that anyone is arguing against that.
              When I hear RBI guy I think of Frank Malzone of the late ’50′s Red Sox. He was not a great hitter but could get bat on ball with some authority when Runnels, Williams and/or Jensen got on in front of him. That would be important because there was crap hitting in the 6 – 9 holes. Again, he was in no shape or form a great hitter and maybe not a particularly good hitter. But he was a useful hitter.

          • Jon

            Theo would tell you your face how worthless RBIs are in terms of individual player evaluation.
            Remember that insane year Derrick Lee had in 2004(?) that same year he didn’t even drive in 100 runs ?!? Worthless stat.

            • MichiganGoat

              Yup of all the stats I’d love to disappear when we discuss players RBI is right up there with W/L and batting average. These are old archaic baseball card stats that need to go away.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Properly used, batting average has a place.

                But I’ll lead the riot mob that rips W/L out of the pitching record books and bans it for all time.

                • YourResidentJag

                  And replaces it with quality starts stat?

                  • chrisfchi

                    I would rather see a QS stat than W/L.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    If we have to replace it, I’d accept QS.

                    But do we really need anything to replace it?

                • jt

                  I’ll capitulate. With today’s game the W/L thing has no more use than a phone with a rotary dial.

                • hansman

                  “Properly used, batting average has a place.”

                  Not attacking but honestly asking when is the proper time to use BA?

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    Excellent question.

                    If there are no other questions, then let’s all head to the “BAN W/L AS A PITCHING STAT” rally. Don’t forget your torches and pitchforks!

                    Seriously, though, there is no ideal spot. BA is flawed. However, it is a readily available indicator of success at getting hit in situation in which the at bat did not result in a walk. It is going to be off due to the other fudge baked into AB, but short of breaking out a calculator it does a fair job of indicating that.

                    That’s a niche stat, I agree, but it is at least a niche. W/L doesn’t even that going for it. W/L is just arbitrary madness gone mad.

                    • hansman

                      W/L made slightly more sense when it was created and SP were routinely throwing complete games.

                  • BABIP

                    BA is very useful when you compare it to a player’s OBP and SLG%…

                    • hansman

                      That one I’ll give ya, although isoD (OBP-BA) can be replaced by going to Fangraphs and looking at the BB%.

            • Brains

              i still see this as a fantasy baseball comment. RBIs signify someone able to complete a baseball circuit, even if it means just a lot of pop out sacrifice flies. maybe a whole team of those guys loses a lot of games, but a guy who its 100 rbi is a benefit to the team, period. i know everyone likes being told that their numbers are better than the last guy, but i still rely more on baseball history than accountants who got bored with H&R Block and want to apply methods for tax evaluations to on the field play.

              • Drew7

                Fantasy baseball includes RBI’s as a scoring category in most standard leagues…

                • Brains

                  i understand that, but claims that RBIs are useless seems counterintuitive to anything about the actual game. i know its great abstraction to say things like that, but the people who do usually don’t actually know how to play baseball. they just send stats after the game through a machine that gives them a meaning and then they regurgitate it. now if a guy is just hitting sac flies all the time to get high RBIs, he’s not an impact player. but every great middle-lineup player in the history of baseball has a lot of RBIs. and that’s not an anecdote.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    One of these days – if Doc doesn’t beat me too it (because I think he could knock it out in a few minutes) – I intend to compare the correlation between RBIs and OPS to the correlation between RBIs and the OBP of the two spots directly ahead of the batter in question.

                    • cub2014

                      Luke, runs are really the most
                      important stat offensively in baseball.
                      Why not have a stat that compares
                      RBi’s as a % of RBI chances?
                      Wouldnt that tell us who is the best
                      run producer.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Yes and no. That would still be dependent on the runners on base.

                      Put it this way: who is likely to have more RBIs? The guy with Tony Campana on second 37 times out of 100 PA? Or the guy with Prince Fielder on second 37 times out of 100 PA?

                      That’s an extreme example, but it makes the point.

                      If you wanted to go in that direction, taking a player’s OPS in RISP situation would, I think, be more accurate. Ultimately it is the OPS in those situations that leads to the RBIs anyhow.

                      But then we start to run into some sample size issues in a lot of situations. The sheer variability of the game starts to add so much error to the resultant projections that we probably aren’t learning as much as we think we are.

                    • cub2014

                      Luke, exactly no stat is perfect
                      or accurate for each player in
                      each situation. Look at BABIP
                      people use that to explain bad
                      luck for a hitter, but isnt it logical
                      the weaker you hit the ball the
                      less likely you will reach base.

                      look at barney everyone says, ya
                      but he had a really low BABIP this
                      year (which is true) but I also saw
                      him dribble more balls to infielders
                      this year poor contact equals low
                      BABIP so almost all stats are arbitrary.

                      including walks doesnt the opposing
                      pitcher control this to some degree?

                    • hansman

                      BABIP is player specific. Only when it deviates from THAT players norms do we have a story.

                      If walks were so pitcher dependent then why do some players have a high walk rate throughout their career even if they switch leagues? Also, why does walk rate correlate so well with itself year over year?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Pitchers have little control over walks, actually. This can be (and has been, many times) shown by looking at the year to year walk rates among other indicators.

                      It is true that no stat is perfect, but that isn’t a defense of RBIs. That no stat is perfect does not mean that a very flawed stat becomes more useful. The very flawed stat (RBIs in this case) remains very flawed.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Well said Luke all stats have flaws but some are just more flawed than others, but some of those stats are so tied to our childhood beliefs about baseball that they are hard to throw away.

                    • Brains

                      i think this is a great conversation, but i’m still not sold that this kind of talk can lead to any productive improvement when baseball fundamentals are way down on the list. fundamentals such as hiring players who can play baseball within 8 years of buying a team.

                    • hansman

                      Batting average is useless if only because the stat it’s based on “at bats” is a useless pile of garbage.

                      I can see it’s creation now:

                      “Ok, we need a stat that tells us how often a player steps up to the plate but doesn’t include the times when they walk, or when we arbitrarily decide he was actively sacrificing himself, or if he is HBP or this doozy:

                      He is replaced by another hitter before his at bat is completed (unless he is replaced with two strikes and his replacement completes a strikeout).

                      We shall call it an At Bat and then we will base Batting Average off it and it will rule the baseball world for 100 years.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Hans I couldn’t agree more, and we should add the AB to the list of stats that have little to no purpose.

                    • hansman

                      What is more telling about batting average is that when you take H/PA (using two actual stats), it correlates less well with runs scored than the made-up batting average.

                    • mjhurdle

                      BA, RBIs, Wins, Losses, and Errors.
                      Those are the only Supreme Telling Stats of Player domination.
                      I know this because I played Earl Weaver baseball at a high level.

                      Get off my lawn!!

                    • hansman

                      sCRAP+ and BLLyfire and HSTLE don’t get a seat at the table?

                    • Brains

                      i’m sold on obp vs ba. that one i get. i can see the value of runs vs rbi even. but i don’t get comments like rbi is a lesser statistic. it’s a centrally crucial statistic that points to reliability.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Speaking of why RBI is such a poor stat take a look here http://newenglishd.com/2013/07/19/rbi-is-a-misleading-statistic-a-case-study/

                    • mjhurdle

                      obviously my posting TWTW must be lacking tonight if i forget the kings of stats, sCRAP+, BLLyfre, and HSTLE.

                      RBIs rank just a tick below sCRAP in terms of esteem.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      And one of the few good articles from that other bleacher site http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1414978-why-the-rbi-is-obsolete-and-how-we-can-do-better

                    • hansman

                      Why does a batter not get an RBI if the run is batted in during a GIDP?

                    • Brains

                      not sold – i get that an rbi is a context-driven stat. but the introduction of context isn’t the introduction of relativism. were there previously important stats that had been deflated, such as obp and ops? yes. but a short sampling of high-rbi low-productivity seasons are exceptions to the rule that a guy scored and this helped the team.

                      if the assumption is that a neutrally significant stat is the goal of stat analysis, i accept this if we spare that it’s designated some kind of objective validity. rbi is a great stat, not at all useless, which perhaps needs to be ranked among the conditions in which it was produced.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      It might help if we define just what RBI measures.

                      RBIs count the number of times a runner scores following the actions taken by a particular player during the at bat*.

                      And that’s it.

                      If we want to measure the ability of a player to drive in runs we can could use OPS in RISP.

                      If we want to measure how many runs a player creates we can use wRC or wRC+.

                      If we want to measure how well a player hits in late game or close game situations, we can look at OPS in just those situations.

                      If we want to measure how many runs score in an inning in which that player bats, we can do that too.

                      Basically, for anything that we would want to know that we think RBI might tell us, we can find a better, clearer, more accurate stat that does a better job of it.

                  • jt

                    you buy into the BAbip thing as totally dependent upon luck. So you do not believe BA is relevant.
                    Then you say each batter has a BAbip norm and it is changes to that norm that is important. But if each batter has a particular norm that is different than all other batters then there must be skill involved. If there is skill involved then it is not totally dependent upon luck.
                    If there is skill involved then BA is an indicator of that skill.

                    • Brains

                      i agree with this one too — a BA signifies quality of contact and, again, reliability. we always held high BA players in wonder when we were kids. we were all just wrong? the history of baseball was just wrong?

                      is BA less important than total bases and percentage of total on base percentage? no. but is putting the ball in play usually a better situation than a walk if the effect is the same – getting on base? usually. we have to stop devaluing core statistics just because we can.

                    • Brains

                      sorry, *yes*, BA is less important than OBP. but do we want a “looker” or a hitter? at this point i think we just want accountants.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      There is a lot of confusion on BABIP. You’re close here, but not quite right.

                      Every player has a normal BABIP. We can, to some degree, learn about the various skills a player has by comparing their career average BABIPs across players, but that is not the best use of BABIP nor how it is used when we are talking about luck. There are better numbers for investigating those skill gaps.

                      We use BABIP primarily as a tool to measure how a player is doing compared to himself. Skill, in that situation, is held more or less constant (and I realize that statement is liable to spark another huge debate).

                      When luck enters the equation we are talking about the difference between a player’s BABIP today and his career (or season, sometimes) BABIP.

                      History tells us that a guy who has a career average BABIP of .310 over 7 seasons should have close to a .310 BABIP in his eighth season. If, instead, he has a BABIP of .230 then we know something is off. If he isn’t hurt and no other explanation appears (and saying he just started sucking over one offseason doesn’t generally count as a valid explanation), then we reluctantly conclude that it is the result of luck and expect that his BABIP will normalize – that is head back towards the career average number – eventually.

                      All of that is relatively independent of batting average as we conventionally use it. Even though the same words appear in both names, they are measuring two different things.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      If you want to measure the ability of a hitter to make contact, wouldn’t H/PA do a better job of it? Or, if you prefer, H/(PA-BB).

                      The main problem with BA is the definition of AB. A lot of things are checked out of the definition of At Bat for no apparently good reason. If baseball would ever redefine At Bat into something that made more sense (like PA, or at worst, PA-BB), then most of the opposition to BA would evaporate overnight.

                    • hansman

                      “sorry, *yes*, BA is less important than OBP. but do we want a “looker” or a hitter?”

                      Doesn’t matter. Just get on base anyway you can. If that way involves hitting the ball, hit it as far as you can.

    • mjhurdle

      Just going by the stats, it is hard to make an argument that Fielder affected Cabrera in any way at all.

  • bob

    Tigers what were u thinking one for one deal steal of the century getting prince

  • Jon

    Prince Fielder is quite possibly the most overrated player in the game. Rizzo damn near matched his production. Love this trade for the tigers

  • Sandberg

    Finally seeing some movement. Let’s get this thing started, Jed!

  • YourResidentJag

    Matt Clapp ‏@TheBlogfines 3m
    Take THAT, Fielder for Kinsler deal! “@ChrisCotillo: #Padres got RHP Ben Paullus from #Yankees in exchange for Dean Anna”

    • MichiganGoat

      Ha Dean Anna was discussed in great detail today about being a Rule 5 player we should have picked up.

      • ssckelley

        Smart move by the Padres, they knew they were going to lose Anna so they traded him for a player they do not have to protect.

  • chrisfchi

    Wow what a move. Can’t wait to see how this shakes out over next season. I do agree with Brett that Detroit moving Fielder frees money for Scherzer (kids real good at baseball and set to get paid!!!!!!).

  • waittilthisyear

    came over here right when i heard. glad there is already an article posted. i bet prince rakes in texas. both teams just relly took shape though. cabrera kinsler iglesias castellanos across the infied in dtown, prince profar andrus beltre for the rangers.

    man, our team does not look so hot at the moment when you look at those 2

  • Blackhawks1963

    If you’re Scott Boras then you LOVE this trade. Not because Prince is one of his marquee clients, but rather for how this starts to show a path for both Ellsbury and Choo to sign mega deals.

    I get it that Detroit needs to focus on signing Scherzer. But owner Mike Illitch is into his 80′s now and has a net worth of over 2 billion dollars, to go along with a stated desire to win another World Series under his ownership. So look for Ellsbury and Choo to now be on the radarscope.

    And don’t discount Texas being in on Ellsbury.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    My guess is that the Tigers move Miggy to first and Castellanos (back) to 3rd. As Brett predicts, they use the extra money to re-sign Scherzer (bummer: I was hoping he’d become available!) I wouldn’t be surprised if they use the remainder of the money to get Beltran for a couple of years, as they had been floating the idea of putting Castellanos in LF.

    • YourResidentJag

      I don’t know. You think Castellanos will adjust well to 3b?

      • hansman

        Nick castellanos as in the uber third base prispect that every poster on here wanted two years ago along with Turner?

        • YourResidentJag

          Or the one shifted to LF because of questions about his play at 3b?

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Choo could an option for them. Hunter is in his last season of his contract. They will want to have plenty of offense, why not the 4th OBP in MLB guy in front of Cabrera? That would boost Offense…

      They sign Joe Nathan and another RP…and the playoffs come if they stay healthy.

  • Andrew

    Means Omar Infante has one less suitor. Dave Cameron said he would be one of the steals of this offseason. If he takes a relatively short term contract, might be a good pickup for the cubs.

    • YourResidentJag

      Or any other team.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Infante has the Yankees, Orioles, Braves, Cincinnati (if they move Phillips) off the top of my head. He’s going to identify a quality payday in the end.

  • mjhurdle

    Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi 4m
    Tigers are sending less than $50 million total to Rangers, sources tell @Ken_Rosenthal and me. @FOXSportsLive

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      See reports of $30 million from some places. Jeff Passan was one of, if not the, first on that.

  • X The Cubs Fan

    It seems like it’s between Shark and Price. Very good!

  • mjhurdle

    Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan 3m
    Final deal: Detroit trades Prince Fielder + $30M to Texas for Ian Kinsler. TEX gets Prince for 7/$138M, DET gets Kinsler for 4/$62M + $30M.

  • Die hard

    Rizzo Lake and Olt for Votto?

    • Carew

      that’s stupid, even for you

      • Cizzle

        You made me laugh so hard I cried.

  • Rebuilding

    What a horrendous move by the Tigers. Kinsler was a superstar from 2008-2011, but has OPS’d 749 and 757 the last 2 years in 1200 at-bats. Profar is likely to match or exceed those numbers this year. This what Kinsler is still owed:

    2014 32 Texas Rangers $16,000,000
    2015 33 Texas Rangers $16,000,000
    2016 34 Texas Rangers $14,000,000
    2017 35 Texas Rangers $11,000,000
    2018 36 Texas Rangers *$12,000,000

    So it’s not like the Tigers are saving as much as you might think. Meanwhile Fielder was going through some really painful personal stuff last year that reporters, teammates, etc… Said was really affecting him.

    Just strange – Ilitch has said many times that he’ll spend what it takes to win a WS before he dies. If there were some constraints and it was all about keeping Scherzer then it’s debateable since they have 5 solid SP if you include Smyly

    • Rebuilding

      +$30 mil = awful

      • Justin

        Detroit is saving $76 Million overall, and gets out of those last 2 or 3 yrs of the Fielder contract when you know he’s going to suck.. I think it makes a lot of sense for the Tigers.

        • Rebuilding

          I think you are severely underestimating Fielder. I would definitely bet that this will be his worst year by far during this contract. It only runs until he’s 36

          • Justin

            Wow, yeah we are pretty far apart in our Prince Fielder projections. Like really far apart, but that’s cool. I really could care less, but don’t see him playing well at all in his mid-30′s. Obviously you do. Agree to disagree..

            • Cubbie Blues

              could *not* care less.

              • Justin

                Thank you Cubbie Blues. Nothing better than having your typos pointed out on a baseball blog;)

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Your welcome.

                  • X The Cubs Fan

                    I see what you did there.

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      I wouldve missed it if you had pointed it out ;}

          • YourResidentJag

            But Kinsler runs for less time so….

            Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 4m
            Finances from #Rangers’ perspective: They take on an additional $46M. Fielder signed for seven more years, Kinsler for four more.

          • YourResidentJag
    • YourResidentJag

      Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 7m
      Here is the math on the finances: Prince owed $168M. #Tigers pay $30M of that, plus Kinsler’s $62M – total of $92M. Savings of $76M.

      Really?

  • ssckelley

    With the Rangers now able to put Profar in at 2nd, move Moreland back to RF to replace Cruz, adding Fielder to their lineup has to make them the favorites in the AL West.

    • Die hard

      Fielder being made scapegoat

    • Professor Snarks

      All Texas needs now is a young armed starting pitcher with a name that’s difficult to spell. They still have prospects, don’t they?

  • cking25

    Well looks like Detroit will be locking up Scherzer soon. On the other side good for Prince he needs the change of scenery. I think I remember hearing he was in the middle of a nasty divorce. That kind of thing would way on anyone. If you don’t think he will come back strong your dreaming.

  • Justin

    I could really care less about either of these teams, but Prince’s contract is so freaking bad. I am surprised more people aren’t discussing just how bad that contract is. Even in baseballs new economics it really blows. Now the 2 most valuable years of it are over (the first 2). Good luck with that Rangers. Mr. John Daniels is officially desperate..

    • Justin

      Looks like Detroit is sending over around $30 Mill. Makes a lot more sense if thats the case.

    • Rebuilding

      This was the first year Fielder has OPSd below 871 since he was 22 in 2006. By all accounts the personal issues really did a number on him and he wasn’t himself. Kinsler’s contract is the really bad one – the Tigers are only going to save about $5 mil the next 2 years

      • Justin

        The Tigers are saving $76 Million bucks. I don’t love Kinsler, but his contract isn’t in the ballpark of bad contracts that Prince’s deal is in.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Fielders contract is actually quite a bargain. Try and find a 29 year old slugger, career OPS over .900, for 7 years at an AAV of 24 million. Who never misses a game and is known as a quality teammate. Likely be a 5 plus WAR player this season.
          If anything, the Tigers took on the bad contract. Kinsler is nowhere near in the class of hitter as Fielder, and has shown a lot of regression. Beautiful deal by the Rangers.

  • BeastMode

    Just wanted to say I love this site, when I first heard of this trade did I go to ESPN or MLB.com? No. I came here. Just glad I finally found this site. BTW good trade for both sides I guess. Maybe the Rangers come out on top talent wise but I assume the Rangers have like a billion dollars to spend. I wish the cubs could/would spend like that.

  • YourResidentJag

    JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 39m
    Feels like long term 1b deals are the credit default swaps of baseball

    I agree.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      As will the 3 OF contracts that LA Dodgers currently have.
      ‘Fat’ Albert is going NO WHERE either!

      • YourResidentJag

        But here’s the thing. How many players can play CF which is included in that OF? If Kemp was healthier, we wouldn’t be discussing his contract. You can move many more players into 1b position. In fact, you can prob find a middle range one of usefulness in any FA market regardless of its quality.

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