Should the LA Angels pursue Ian Kinsler?

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 16: Ian Kinsler
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 16: Ian Kinsler /

The LA Angels have been connected to Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler with “extensive internal talks” regarding a trade. The Halos are in desperate need of help at second, but are they really this desperate?

36 years of age, a career worst season, 9.32 million dollars guaranteed and only one year of team control before free agency. That, my friends, is the situation that comes with Ian Kinsler; a player the Angels have had deep connections to this off-season. I get it, he’s somewhat cheap, under control for only a year and one of the sports top-performing veterans.

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The Tigers are desperate to shed salary this offseason, so it wouldn’t take much from the Halos aside from eating the last year of his contract. It’s an easy option to pursue, at least in execution; but will it really assuage the Angels 2nd base woes?

Dee Gordon is available, Zack Cozart may be up for grabs, and the Angels were already linked to the young Philles 2B Ceasar Hernandez. All much better options for the Halos than Kinsler, though more difficult to pursue they are all much better pieces in the long run.

However, this article isn’t about comparing Kinsler’s performance value to players far younger and more talented than himself. The real issue here is the Angels willingness to upgrade and those they see fit for the job.

Let me tell you right now, Ian Kinsler is the worst man for the job.

This isn’t an article where I shred apart his stats, his 2017 season did a good enough job of that. Instead I need to shine light on why Kinsler’s presence with the Angels would be highly detrimental to the ballclub.

Regardless of how much you agree with these statements the fact is players should never put themselves above the game. When you begin to disparage colleagues of the game in such a fashion you’re disrespecting not only the game, but the position of a ballplayer and the professional your vitriol is extended towards.

This isn’t an isolated incident, were it to be so it could be hand-waved as a frustrated player. It happens, I get that, yet Kinsler has a penchant for disrespecting those around him no matter if he’s shared the field with them or not. That the absolute opposite of the veteran leadership the Angels require. This team doesn’t need someone who makes the game about himself while criticizing and disrespecting others on such a large scale.

Maybe I just really don’t want to see one of the most hated non-Angel players in an Angels uniform? It may be the case, but it isn’t without reason. Ian Kinsler is vindictive and petty, so he professed when he decided to call Rangers GM Jon Daniels a “sleazeball” and wished complete misfortune on the Rangers.

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The Angels need leadership and a solid bat, they don’t need to house an egotistical child who runs his mouth while posting a sub .240 BA. This is the same guy who, just a few months ago, levied the strangest criticism against Latin American ballplayers. Back in March of 2017 Kinsler criticized Latin ballplayers, stating during the W.B.C:

“I hope kids watching the W.B.C can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That’s just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when they play. We do show emotion. We do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.”

Is that different way of playing showboating against your ex-World Series teammates? Is it telling your ex-GM you hope he brings his team a 162 loss season? Is it telling officials of the game they need to re-evaluate their career choices?

It sounds to me like you’re calling out Latin ballplayers for having a “loud” style of play. Well Ian, it seems your mouth is far louder and more destructive than any emotions from a Latin ballplayer. I’d rather have a ballplayer who plays with the excitement of a 5-year old than a disgruntled 80 year man in a 36-year-old body.

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So, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, I have to ask you one last time. Is Ian Kinsler worth it? Does one year of halfway decent, cheap production mean this clubhouse cancer is the best move to be made? Sure, it won’t take as much effort as a trade for Dee Gordon or Caesar Hernandez, but that doesn’t make it the optimal move.

When you have Mike Trout, a born leader who displays qualities beyond his years you don’t need to sully his leadership presence with a loud-mouth who regards his fans as [edited for your consideration] “Flippin’ silly-butts“.