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What will Tigers do with Kinsler, Iglesias?

Double play duo could be on move as club looks to rebuild
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- This time, there is no doubt: The Tigers' rebuild is on.

General manager Al Avila went into last offseason looking to begin the process, but put it on hold when he found tepid interest in veterans he was offering for trade. A year later, the bulk of the trading is done after Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez were dealt for prospects over the summer. But with Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias and others still around, more work is ahead.

DETROIT -- This time, there is no doubt: The Tigers' rebuild is on.

General manager Al Avila went into last offseason looking to begin the process, but put it on hold when he found tepid interest in veterans he was offering for trade. A year later, the bulk of the trading is done after Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez were dealt for prospects over the summer. But with Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias and others still around, more work is ahead.

It won't be enthralling, and depending on the prospects in return, it might not be all that rewarding. But for the Tigers, who are trying to reduce their payroll while stockpiling young talent to build a new window of contention, it has to be done.

Here's a look at three big issues facing the Tigers this winter:

Free agents:
RHP Anibal Sanchez

Arbitration-eligible:
IF/OF Andrew Romine, SS Iglesias, OF Alex Presley, RHP Alex Wilson, RF Nicholas Castellanos, RHP Bruce Rondon, RHP Shane Greene, C James McCann, C Bryan Holaday, LHP Blaine Hardy.

1. What can the Tigers get for Kinsler?
This question has been lingering since Kinsler's name first hit the trade market last offseason. Avila came close to trading Kinsler in July, according to sources, but talks fell apart around the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Kinsler still has a partial no-trade clause, allowing him to list 10 teams that can't trade for him without his approval. But unlike last offseason, when he strongly hinted at his willingness to exercise his leverage with teams like the Dodgers, the Tigers' window of contention has closed. Moreover, as a 35-year-old second baseman, Kinsler's window for winning a World Series title is narrowing. A deal this winter is more likely, but the market for second basemen remains limited. Would Detroit hold onto Kinsler as a veteran leader if Avila doesn't like the offers?

Video: MIN@DET: Kinsler launches a two-run homer to left

2. What will the Tigers do with Iglesias?
Iglesias remains one of baseball's more exciting shortstops to watch, capable of highlights every night thanks to a strong arm, quick wrists and amazing hand-eye coordination. So far, though, that hasn't resulted in much trade interest. Like Kinsler, the Tigers let teams know last offseason that Iglesias was available, but with little-to-no interest. Now a third-year arbitration-eligible player with an escalating salary and free agency a year away, he might find the same market ahead. Detroit could have to choose between a reduced-return package or a pay raise in arbitration, while Dixon Machado waits his turn.

3. Can Miguel Cabrera get healthy again?
No, the Tigers don't have playoff hopes riding on a healthy Cabrera, but this is still a critical offseason for him after the worst year of his Major League career. He's currently on a core workout plan designed to alleviate the back issues that began in Spring Training and hampered him all year. The result could be a healthier, more agile, possibly lighter Cabrera, potentially regaining some of the bat quickness he seemed to lose this year. Not only do the Tigers need a better Cabrera to be competitive this year, his hitting is important for the Tigers at the gate as he approaches statistical milestones.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers