Hidden cost of the Fielder trade

Texas pitchers will pay the price for their new first baseman's glove

Updated: April 7, 2014, 9:28 AM ET
By Scott Spratt | ESPN Insider

Prince FielderGregg Forwerck/Getty ImagesPrince Fielder has never been very smooth with the leather, as Rangers fans will learn.

There is no question that the biggest trade of the offseason was the deal that sent Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler and $30 million in salary relief.

Most of the analysis of this deal focused on three things: the money saved by Detroit; Fielder moving to a better park for home run hitters; and the Tigers' newfound commitment to defense.

It's pretty clear that the third part is true. By getting rid of Fielder, Miguel Cabrera was able to shift from third base -- where he was overmatched -- to first base, and opened up a spot at the hot corner for Nick Castellanos. Factor in Kinsler, and the deal improved the Tigers in three spots defensively.

Meanwhile, the Rangers spent a lot of money to add to their lineup, but their lack of concern for defense may prevent them from taking a step forward in the standings.

Scott Spratt

Baseball Info Solutions