Kinsler should play first base

Forget Adam LaRoche, Texas can solve a lot of problems with an internal move

Updated: December 20, 2012, 2:19 PM ET
By Dave Cameron | FanGraphs
Ian KinslerLayne Murdoch/Getty ImagesUpon closer inspection, Ian Kinsler is a great fit for the Rangers at first base.

The Texas Rangers haven't had a great offseason so far. After attempting (and failing) to land both Zack Greinke and Justin Upton, the team also saw Josh Hamilton defect to the division rival Los Angeles Angels, while Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster, and Koji Uehara are all headed to the Boston Red Sox. The only free agent they've signed is Joakim Soria, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and might not be ready for the start of the 2013 season. In other words, the Rangers are going to have quite a different look next year.

Even the players who are sticking around are likely to experience some changes, as super prospect Jurickson Profar is expected to take a bigger role in 2013, potentially even moving into an everyday job. While Elvis Andrus is blocking his path at shortstop, Profar could play a decent amount of second base, which might force the Rangers to relocate incumbent starter Ian Kinsler to another spot on the diamond.

The question facing the Rangers is where that spot should be. Besides a two-inning stint at third base -- where the team is more than pleased with Adrian Beltre -- Kinsler has spent his entire big league career at second base. With the departures of Hamilton and Napoli, the team has openings in the outfield and at DH, but they've also talked about moving Kinsler to first base, a position where they didn't get a lot of production last year. Mitch Moreland, their primary first baseman, had a wRC+ of 104, which ranked 28th in baseball among players at the position with at least 300 plate appearances.

You don't see many second baseman shift over to first base, especially those who are listed at 6-foot, but Kinsler is a better fit there than one would think based solely on his height.