After officially signing his five-year contract extension on Wednesday, Ian Kinsler is going to be a Texas Ranger for a long time, and it's coming as a bargain to the Rangers.
At roughly $14 million per season with a $5 million club buyout after five years, and the possibility of a sixth-year option the Rangers are getting a heck of a deal for a player that's transformed himself into one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball as well as being a unique leadoff hitter with 30-home run power.
Kinsler said his decision was simple. He just wanted to be a Texas Ranger. But he's gone a step further in showing his devotion to the club when he said he would not be opposed to a possible position change down the road with the middle infield prospects in the Rangers' system being awfully prosperous, most notably super prospect Jurickson Profar.
Profar has come up as a shortstop, but if the Rangers are able to hold on to Elvis Andrus, that position will obviously be blocked, which could open up the possibility of playing Profar at second base and moving Kinsler elsewhere.
The possibilities are endless. Kinsler would be a great option in a corner outfield slot, and could possibly even be a centerfielder with his great range he's shown at second. Of course, the Rangers hope Cuban prospect Leonys Martin will be the team's everyday centerfielder at some point. In a few years, Adrian Beltre will be expired and aging, and Kinsler looks to be a guy that could even make a possible move to third.
Kinsler didn't seem too impressed with himself for offering up the move in the best interest of the club, but it was pretty impressive. Look at guys like Alfonso Soriano, who was bitter about moving from second base to left field, or even here at home with the Michael Young fiasco last season. It's refreshing to see someone put the club before himself.
Of course, all of that is easy to say right now. Time will tell if the need will even come up, and if it does, how Kinsler will handle it. But judging by the private way in which he handled his contract negotiations, he's off to a good start.