By: Will Burchfield
For all the talk about the tradability of J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler, the Tigers are reportedly finding it difficult to deal either player.
Per Ken Rosenthal:
Martinez and Kinsler were viewed as valuable trade chips entering this offseason given their steady production and affordable contracts.
Martinez, 29, hit .307 in 2016 with 22 HR and 68 RBI in 120 games, posting an offensive-WAR* of 4.1. He will make $11.75 million next season after which he will become a free agent.
Kinsler, 34, hit .288 in 2016 with 28 HR and 83 RBI in 153 games, posting an offensive-WAR of 6.1. He will make $14 million next season with a team option of $11 million for 2018.
Just last week, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reported that Martinez and Kinsler were the two Tigers getting "the most bites" on the trade market. That still might be true, but Rosenthal's report suggests the Tigers aren't taking the bait.
To Rosenthal's point, the free agent market could be driving down the trade value of Martinez and Kinsler. While teams would certainly have to shell out some money to sign the likes of Jose Bautista, Dexter Fowler or Justin Turner (to name a few), they wouldn't forfeit more than a compensatory draft pick in return.
Martinez and Kinsler, on the other hand, would cost teams in both departments.
The Tigers are unlikely to deal either player if they don't receive a favorable offer. At the ongoing Winter Meetings, general manager Al Avila has clarified there's no mandate for the team to cut payroll and that Martinez and Kinsler could very possibly be on next year's roster.
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