Ian Kinsler announces retirement, will join Padres front office

After 14 major league seasons, Ian Kinsler has announced his retirement. He will step into a front office role with the San Diego Padres.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, San Diego Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler has announced his retirement. He will remain with the organization in a front office role.

Kinsler spent last season with the Padres, with a .217/.278/.368 slash line, nine home runs and 22 RBI over 87 games (281 plate appearances). His original two-year deal carried a club option, with a $500,000 buyout, and Rosenthal added Kinsler and the team are expected to reach a settlement on the $4.25 million he’s owed.

Over 14 major league seasons, with the Rangers, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox and Padres, Kinsler hit .269 with a .777 OPS (107 OPS+), 257 home runs, 909 RBI, 1,999 hits and 243 stolen bases. He accounted for 57.2 bWAR (tied for 140th among MLB players), and the broader picture of his value (via JAWS) puts him ahead of some Hall of Fame second basemen.

Kinsler was an All-Star four times (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014) and won two Gold Gloves (2016 and 2018). His best years, including two 30-plus home run seasons, came with the Rangers, and he also hit 28 homers for the Tigers in 2016. He was part of the Red Sox World Series-winning team in 2018.

Kinsler’s place in the Padres’ 2020 lineup was up in the air, at best, as he surely would have been limited to a bench role. Luis Urias was traded to the Brewers, but Jurickson Profar has come in via a trade with Oakland to take over at second base. Kinsler’s retirement opens up a roster spot and perhaps a little bit of extra payroll as San Diego tries to make moves over the rest of the offseason.

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Kinsler was a 17th-round pick by the Rangers in 2003, and while won’t get into Cooperstown, his career was very good and he turned out to be quite a find. He will go down as one of the best second baseman of his era, even though he was largely overshadowed by the likes of Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia and Chase Utley.

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