Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler throws to first to put out Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki after forcing out second baseman Marco Scutaro during the third inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Texas Rangers, Ian Kinsler Agree To Extension

Ian Kinsler is arguably the Texas Rangers' best player, and the two sides have agreed to terms on a contract extension to keep Kinsler with the only organization he's ever known.

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Ian Kinsler Given Front-Loaded Contract Extension

We already knew that the Texas Rangers and Ian Kinsler had agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with a 2018 option. We knew this because we are wizards, each and every one of us. On Wednesday, the extension was finalized, which means, details! We get sweet, sweet details! I don't know why we didn't already know about the details, too, since we're wizards, but life's a mystery.

What's interesting about this contract is that it's front-loaded, where other contracts, like Albert Pujols' or Joey Votto's, are back-loaded. You don't see a lot of front-loading these days. Maybe that's the Rangers trying to pay Kinsler each year according to his forecasted level of ability. Maybe it's something else. Writes Adam Morris at Lone Star Ball:

Also interesting is that Kinsler's contract is more front-loaded, something you rarely see in baseball contracts. Most contracts either pay out roughly the same amount per year, or accelerate significantly in the later years of the deal. I'm hard-pressed to think of the last time I saw a contract that declined so much in the later years of the deal.

Previously, the Rangers held a $10 million 2013 option that was certainly going to be exercised, barring catastrophe or sudden-onset incompetence. So while this is considered at least a five-year extension, it's more like at least a four-year extension, beginning after the 2013 season.

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FanGraphs: Ian Kinsler, Future Left Fielder?

Today, Ian Kinsler is 29 years old. In a couple months, Ian Kinsler will be 30 years old, which doesn't make a big real-world difference, but which does make a big psychological difference. Anyway, as you've read, Kinsler and the Texas Rangers have agreed to a long-term contract extension that gets Kinsler signed through 2017, with a 2018 option. In the short-term, this is good news for the Rangers, as these things almost always are in the short-term. But in the long-term, what does this mean? We turn to Dave Cameron, at FanGraphs:

For whatever reason, the aging curve for second baseman is fairly steep, and even some of the best players at the position have just stopped being productive in their early thirties. So, while the Rangers signed Kinsler to be their second baseman now, I’d imagine they realize that he’s probably not long for the position.

With Elvis Andrus at short and Kinsler at second, someone is going to get out of [Jurickson] Profar’s way in the next 12-18 months, and considering what we know about Kinsler and Andrus’ expected aging curves, it should almost certainly be Kinsler.

The analysis is kind of the standard analysis. Which I don't mean as a shot at Cameron - it's just the way it goes. You take Kinsler, you look at similar players, and you observe that some of them have performed well into their 30s, and some of them have declined in their 30s. What makes this a little different is that Kinsler's a second baseman, which is a position where players seem to decline relatively quickly, and that the Rangers have Jurickson Profar, who is a teenaged super-prospect. If Profar continues to develop, room will need to be made, and with Adrian Beltre around, that could force Kinsler into the outfield.

Or it could force any number of things. Or Profar might not continue to develop. Or Elvis Andrus could get badly injured or something. It's the future! Don't guess at the future! But in the future, Ian Kinsler could be in line for a job change, and said job change might be good for his body.

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Ian Kinsler Extension Does Not Include No-Trade Clause

A great way to determine if a contract was market value or team friendly is to guess at the player's trade value after signing the contract. Joey Votto is signed for the next decade for just under what it would cost to buy the Oakland A's. There aren't a lot of teams -- if any -- that would trade a player for that contract. The Yankees would trade Mark Teixeira for Votto, surely, but it'd be hard to imagine a hypothetical trade for Votto without another contract going the other way.

Ian Kinsler on a five-year deal, with $75 million guaranteed, is still a player that other teams would covet. I'd wager that several teams would trade good prospects for the privilege of Kinsler and his contract. That probably means it's a great deal for the Rangers. And it gets better:

Not that the Rangers are thinking about trading him. And as Heyman points out, after the 2015 season, Kinsler will qualify for 10/5 protection -- with ten years in the league and five with the same team, he'll automatically get no-trade coverage.

But if Jurickson Profar goes nuts over the next couple of years, and if Elvis Andrus develops into a fantastic hitter ... heck, who knows? Stranger things have happened. For now, Kinsler is a Ranger until his mid-30s. His contract isn't that cumbersome, though, so the lack of a no-trade clause is interesting, at least.

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Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers Agree To 5-Year Contract Extension

This wasn't going to be Ian Kinsler's last season on the the Texas Rangers, as the team held a $10 million option on their second baseman. But there have been recent rumblings about the Rangers and Kinsler working toward some sort of extension, getting close enough that Kinsler openly expressed disappointment that the deal wasn't done. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, though, Kinsler is going to be on the Rangers for a long time:

Wilson later dug up the terms: five years, $70 million, with an option for a sixth year that includes a $5 million buyout. It's hard to peg Kinsler's value exactly after sifting through park effects and defensive metrics, but it's safe to say he's one of the Rangers' best players, and the cost certainly seems reasonable, even after accounting for some decline on the back end. Perspective: That's about $12 million more than Vernon Wells will get from the Angels over the next three years.

With Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler both locked up for the near future, there's some question as to what will happen with prospect dynamo Jurickson Profar, who reportedly plays a mean defensive shortstop. But seeing as he's still just 19, that's probably a question for 2014 or so.

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Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers Working Toward Extension

Ian Kinsler is a fantastic offensive and defensive second baseman. He is one of the better players in the game -- so good, that even though he is described as "baseball's most underrated player" once every five seconds, he's still underrated. And the Texas Rangers would like to keep him around for a spell. And according to T.R. Sullivan, the two sides are getting close (but not that close):

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler said no agreement has been reached on a contract extension. Kinsler said the talks were close enough to be "disappointed that it’s not done."

Discouraging that it isn't done. Encouraging that they got so close at all. Locking up Kinsler seems like an obvious move, even if it hampers the Rangers' efforts to re-sign Josh Hamilton.

There is another consideration, though not one that should affect the Rangers' decision with Kinsler: The Rangers also have one of the very best shortstop prospects in recent memory, Jurickson Profar. He's only 19, so he's probably a couple of years away, but if the Rangers extend Kinsler and keep Elvis Andrus around (which they will), they'll have a very, very interesting decision to make with their middle infield in a couple of years.

Also, Jurickson Profar is an underrated awesome name.

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Extending Ian Kinsler The Right Move

Ian Kinsler is arguably the Rangers' best player, and he should still have plenty of production in front of him.

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