I’ve been getting a number of inquiries about whether the Orioles are interested in trading for Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, and I can say it likely won’t happen.
First of all, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has said that he likes the Orioles' options at second base after the waiver claim of Alexi Casilla from the Twins. The position is already crowded with Ryan Flaherty, Brian Roberts and Robert Andino.
Kinsler’s name has emerged as one that the Rangers could move, especially in order to open up playing time for phenom middle infielder Jurickson Profar, but Rangers GM Jon Daniels doesn’t seem eager to move Kinsler, Profar or shortstop Elvis Andrus.
While Kinsler would fit well into Duquette’s offensive philosophy -- he has a career .350 on-base percentage – he’s coming off a down season in home runs (19), RBIs (72) and stolen bases (21). Kinsler is also coming off a season in which he made 18 errors, the most of any AL second baseman.
In April, Kinsler signed a five-year, $75 million extension that starts this season and goes through 2017 with a 2018 option. The Orioles have done a good job of staying free of long-term commitments, and don’t expect them to take on a lengthy deal that wasn’t made by the club.
The Rangers are considering moving Kinsler to left field, which is a spot of need for the Orioles, but the club is said to be still pursuing Nate McLouth, who wouldn’t cost anywhere near the $13 million Kinsler is slated to make in 2013.
And then there’s the question of what it would take to acquire Kinsler, which would likely include some of the Orioles' stable of young pitching depth, which Duquette likely won't part with easily.
This is the hot-stove season – anything can happen – and Kinsler remains an immense talent, but I wouldn’t expect to see him in an Orioles unform any time soon.