Friday, March 23, 2012
Ian Kinsler committed to Rangers
By Richard Durrett
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ian Kinsler's agent, Jay Franklin, met with the Texas Rangers on Friday to discuss the possibility of a long-term deal for the second baseman.
Franklin said he wasn't "overly optimistic" that a deal could be reached before the end of spring training, but said the club is committed to trying to get the core of its team signed up long term.
"We talked back in January and they said they wanted to meet again while I was out here, so that's what we did," Franklin said. "I always have good meetings with them. They want to keep signing the core group and are sincere about it. (Derek) Holland was a good start and they want to keep going."
The club signed Holland, a left-handed starting pitcher, to a five-year deal worth $28.5 million with two club options that could keep him a Ranger for the next seven years.
In Kinsler's case, both sides have some time. He has a club option for the 2013 season worth $10 million. He will make $7 million this season as part of a contract he signed prior to the 2008 season.
"We've been very clear in expressing our desire to keep the core," assistant Rangers general manager Thad Levine said. "We're cognizant that in the next 24 months the lion's share of our offense could become free agents, not to mention part of our pitching staff. We want to understand the landscape as we try to sign that group."
Kinsler, 29, is the club's leadoff hitter and has been the starting second baseman since 2006. He has scored more than 100 runs three times and hit at least 30 home runs twice. He became a member of the 30-30 club in 2011, hitting 32 home runs from the top spot in the order along with 30 stolen bases.
"Ian wants to stay here and he's said that," Franklin said. "We have to see if we can find something that works. We'll keep talking."
"This is where I want to be," Kinsler said. "I was drafted by this organization (17th round in 2003) and developed here and I want to stay here."