Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers scores on a hit by Josh Hamilton in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.
In an ongoing series, we'll address offseason questions the Texas Rangers have to answer.
Today, we'll discuss what happens with Ian Kinsler in the 2013 season, coming off the worst season of his career.
There are a handful of options the Rangers can execute with Kinsler.
1) They can trade him, and likely get a pretty decent package in return.
2) They can keep him at second base and trade Elvis Andrus, putting super prospect Jurickson Profar at shortstop.
3) They can keep both Kinsler and Andrus and try Profar in the outfield.
4) They can keep both Kinsler and Andrus and move Kinsler to the outfield.
5) They can keep him in the leadoff spot, or move him down in the batting order.
See, there's a lot to digest here.
Kinsler is coming off the worst overall season of his career when he hit .256 with an on-base percentage of .326, which isn't becoming of a leadoff man. His power numbers decreased to 19 home runs and he stole only 21 bases, after twice reaching the 30 homer-30 stolen bases plateau twice in his career, including last year.
He also has a huge contract that runs through the 2017 season as part of a 10-year deal worth $96.5 million. So while many folks might want him traded, it might be a hard deal to work. And the Rangers probably wouldn't get his true value in return coming off such a bad season in which he also committed 18 errors, which tied a career-high.
The best option for the club would be to keep Kinsler and move him to a corner outfield spot, with the hope he could eventually learn how to play center if things go extremely well. He has great range at second base and has an above average arm, so playing in the corner outfield would be a reasonable goal for the 2013 season.
Andrus is too good to let go, and Profar has been banging on the door for months, and the door isn't strong enough to hold him back anymore.