With the Ian Kinsler contract extension being announced today, we are also getting now getting details of the contract extension. Jeff Wilson tweeted as follows:
#Rangers will pay Kinsler $13M in '13, $16M in 2014 and 2015, $14M in 2016 and $11M in 2017. Option for 2018 is $10M with a $5M buyout.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) April 11, 2012
The structure of this deal is a lot different than what I would have expected. First of all, instead of the $10 million Kinsler would have gotten in 2013 had his option been picked up, Kinsler is getting $13 million. The deal then escalate to $16 million for 2014 and 2015, then decreases by $2 million in 2016 and $3 million in 2017. The option year apparently will cost only $5 million to pick up (since there is a $5 million buyout and the option is for $10 million).
Given that Kinsler was already under contract for 2013 at $10 million, this can be viewed as either a 4 year, $65 million deal (at $16.25 million per year), or a 5 year, $70 million deal (at $14 million per year). Given that the option is almost certainly going to be picked up as long as Kinsler can still function as a baseball player, it makes sense to view it as a 5/$70 contract.
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.
In addition, Ian Kinsler acknowledged today that there was the possibility of a position change in his future, and said all the right things about just wanting to win, wanting to play wherever the club needs him, etc.