Kinsler on buy/sell: “I would like to send any message I can”
Ian Kinsler sent his go-ahead two-run homer Monday night 396 feet to left field, according to MLB’s Statcast, and sent the Tigers from a potentially crushing loss to a 5-4 win over the Mariners. He hopes it sent a message a little further upstairs towards the Tigers front office to hold off on selling.
“I would like to send any message I can — text message, email, whatever,” Kinsler said. “Yeah, we’ve always had the pieces. Yes, we have weaknesses. Yes, we have strengths, just like any team. But baseball’s crazy. Every year you see something crazy happen in this game and you have to continue to compete, and you have to continue to play hard, and hopefully the guys upstairs see something positive and try to shore up those weaknesses.”
Whether Monday’s win makes a difference remains to be seen. If it does, it’ll depend a lot on what happens the rest of the week. A report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today cited sources inside the organization saying the Tigers are preparing to put David Price and Yoenis Cespedes on the market ahead of free agency. At the same time, others from clubs monitoring the Tigers told MLB.com that the team isn’t expected to decide whether to buy or sell until the end of the week. That doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t an internal decision, but at this point, teams are still waiting to see what the Tigers want to do.
“Have not heard anything different,” one Major League front-office member said late Monday night.
As some have pointed out, that timetable coincides with the start of a three-city, 10-game road trip that carries the Tigers through the trade deadline.
From an attendance standpoint, any public signal to sell would make more sense to delay until after the last game of the Tigers’ homestand Thursday. Coincidentally, David Price is scheduled to start that game. The Tigers are planning to gather top officials and scouts with them on the road, including next week’s series at Tampa Bay just before the deadline.
A wait-and-see stance essentially puts the onus on the players to prove this team deserves a chance to try to salvage this season. Kinsler wants to see this team take that brief window and make a point.
“I hope there’s urgency in this clubhouse,” Kinsler said. “If you’re asking me personally, absolutely. I don’t want to be in a situation I haven’t been in since 2008. I’ve been running for the postseason since 2009, year in and year out. I don’t want to do the other thing. I don’t want to just play baseball for no reason. There’s a lot of opportunity here, and I think everybody understands that and hopefully there’s still urgency here.”
At the same time, Kinsler acknowledged, “It’s our fault. We’re playing the games. It’s a tough industry. The Tigers organization has to make a decision. Obviously for the past however long — six, seven years — they’ve had the best interests in mind. Whatever they do, we have to roll with it, and hopefully it’s something that we can look at as a positive in here and get going.”