Add free agent 2B Ian Kinsler to C Wilson Ramos as players who have met face to face with #Brewers at winter meetings.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 12, 2018
Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Kinsler is yet another player who has met in person with the Brewers. Milwaukee has stated publicly that they’d like to get a player to help at second base, one way or another. Kinsler may be ideal for many reasons.
Last year, Kinsler was traded from the Los Angeles Angels to the Boston Red Sox as the Red Sox looked to get a player to fill in for the injured Dustin Pedroia. Between his two teams, Kinsler hit .240/.301/.380, good for an 87 wRC+ and 100 DRC+. Despite being 36, Kinsler still stole 16 bags and hit 14 homers.
Kinsler is losing some pop to his bat with age according to hit profiles. He’s lost nearly 10% in his hard hit percentage, going from 37% to 29.3% but he still hits a fair amount of line drives, which means there’s still moderate offensive potential left.
The veteran is more than reliable at second base. He’s a two-time Gold Glover winner, including the award he won last year, and won a Fielding Bible Award for his performance in 2015. He had 10 defensive runs saved at second last year, with little sign that age is affecting his performance.
Given the Brewers’ current situation at second, Kinsler might be the most ideal option. At 36 and turning 37 in June, it’s unlikely he signs a multi-year deal. With the Brewers best prospect at second base and knocking on the proverbial door, Kinsler could be the perfect stop gap for Milwaukee. Thanks mostly to his solid defense, he’s still a two-win player. If he struggles and Keston Hiura rakes at AAA, it’s easy to justify making the swap. Otherwise, you have a reliable veteran holding down second while Hiura develops and learns in San Antonio.
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus