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Report: Ian Kinsler could be a fallback option for Dodgers

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According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, Tigers’ infielder Ian Kinsler could be a “possible fallback option” for the Dodgers if talks with Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier continue to stall. This isn’t the first time the two have been connected, as the Dodgers reportedly made inquiries on Kinsler as early as last November. The Twins are rumored to be on the fence about dealing Dozier, however, which could up the Dodgers’ interest in working out a trade with the Tigers.

Kinsler, 34, polished off another productive season in 2016, racking up 5.8 fWAR while slashing .288/.348/.484 with 28 home runs in 679 PA. Aside from his sizable contributions at the plate, part of his appeal lies in his contract, which guarantees him $11 million for the 2017 season with a $10 million option (and $5 million buyout) for 2018. Although his salary figure shouldn’t break the bank, the Dodgers have reason to be wary, as Kinsler previously stated that he is unwilling to waive his partial no-trade clause without a contract extension.

Despite the potential difficulty in making a deal with the Dodgers, who happen to be one of the 10 teams on Kinsler’s no-trade list, no other teams have been seriously linked to the second baseman this winter. The Tigers are still looking to shed a hefty portion of their payroll, and Cafardo notes that they might also consider moving shortstop Jose Iglesias this winter in order to get under the luxury tax threshold.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics