The Rangers and second baseman Ian Kinsler have come to an agreement on a five-year contract worth $75 million that will take effect in 2013. There is an option for a sixth year worth $10 million that can vest to $12 million. The buyout is $5 million.
The deal, pending a physical today, has the largest average annual value ever given to a second baseman at $15 million. It dwarfs by $2.6 million per year the five-year, $62 million deal Dan Uggla signed with Atlanta in 2011.
A news conference is expected Wednesday.
Kinsler might not hold the title of largest AAV given to a second baseman for long. The Yankees' Robinson Cano is facing free agency, and New York could pay him up to $20 million a year.
Kinsler's agent, Jay Franklin of the BBI Sports Group, said that the negotiations picked up over the weekend after the sides got close to a deal late last week.
The No. 1 obstacle, he said, was trying to determine the market value of a player who still had two years remaining on his current contract. Kinsler is making $7 million this year, and the Rangers held an option for 2013 worth $10 million.
The work of general manager Jon Daniels and assistant GM Thad Levine, along with team president Nolan Ryan and ownership, is an incidation that they are committed to keeping the Rangers' core group of players in tact, said Franklin.
"They stepped out on a limb here and paid a guy with two years left on his contract the highest AAV ever given to a second baseman," Franklin said late Monday. "The Texas Rangers are absolutely committed to keeping a winner here. They want to establish a dynasty.
"Quite frankly, they didn't need to extend Ian. They had two years left for us to get market value on Ian. I didn't think this would happen. JD, Thad and I wrestled for a week or two weeks straight. At the end of the day, we agreed on what this guy means to the organization and the community."
-- Jeff Wilson