The San Diego Padres have reportedly made a move to improve their infield. According to Ken Rosenthal with The Athletic, 36-year-old second baseman Ian Kinsler has agreed to join the Padres on a two-year deal. Kinsler appeared in 128 games last season and was a part of winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
The deal is reported to be for $8 million pending a physical:
Free-agent second baseman Ian Kinsler in agreement with the #Padres on a two-year, $8M contract with a club option, pending a physical, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 14, 2018
Report: Ian Kinsler Agrees to Deal with San Diego Padres
It seemed unlikely from the outset that Kinsler would return to Boston after coming over mid-season. Kinsler appeared in 128 games between Boston and the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. He posted 2.4 bWAR while slashing.240/.301/.380 with 14 home runs and 66 runs scored.
It goes without saying that Kinsler is not the same offensive player that hit 32 home runs in 2011 or 41 doubles in 2008. Still, he has plenty of experience and has shown an ability to remain durable throughout his career. Kinsler has appeared in at least 103 games every year of his career, appearing in at least 130 games nine times.
The deal improves a couple of areas for San Diego. First, it fills a need for a starting second baseman at an affordable price. Even if a different player does take over the starting role at the position, the Padres can stomach the deal for Kinsler as a bench player.
In fact, the deal is likely just a bridge until prospects Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr. are ready. Urias and Tatis are viewed as the middle infield of the future for the Padres, and Kinsler’s addition does not change that. However, Kinsler will provide a veteran presence for both players as they settle into MLB.
The days of Kinsler proving to be an elite offensive player may be gone, but there are still areas for him to provide value. For two years and $8 million, this reported deal looks to be an easy deal for the Padres.
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