- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
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Second baseman Ian Kinsler has agreed to a five-year, $22 million contract with the
Texas Rangers. The deal includes a club option for a sixth year that could increase the overall value of the package to $32 million.
"It's a lot of money," Kinsler said. "I've never imagined being in this position in my life. The whole arbitration process is tough on both sides. For us to be able to avoid that is definitely a positive.
"I was not trying to set the bar and make the most money for a second baseman. I'm just here to play the game and be treated fairly. All I wanted the Rangers to do is step up and make a commitment to me. They did, and I made a commitment to them. I wanted to get it done this year," he said.
Kinsler, 25, hit .261 with 20 homers and 23 stolen bases for the Rangers last season. Despite missing almost the entire month of July with a stress fracture in his left foot, he became the sixth player in club history to put up a 20-homer, 20-steal season.
The new contract will take Kinsler through three years of salary arbitration and his first year of free agency -- and possibly a second year if the Rangers exercise their $10 million club option.
Kinsler is the second big league second baseman to sign a multiyear deal since the start of spring training. Brandon Phillips, who has one more year of service time than Kinsler, agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds last week.
The deal comes about a year after the Rangers signed All-Star shortstop Michael Young to a five-year, $80 million extension.
According to The Associated Press, Kinsler contacted Young several times during his negotiations.
"He's been through this whole process before," Kinsler said. "He never told me what to do. He was basically an adviser. He is someone I respect and someone I play right next to. To be able to pick his brain about something like this was very important. He helped me out tremendously."
Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN Insider.
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