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Rangers sign 2B Ian Kinsler to five-year extension through 201202/19/2008 12:28 PM ET
SURPRISE -- The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has signed second baseman Ian Kinsler to a five-year extension through 2012 with a club option for 2013. If the Rangers were to pick up the club option for 2013, the deal would cover the period through Kinsler's first two years of potential free agency. No financial terms were disclosed per club policy.
"Ian stands for what we believe in, both on and off the field," said Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels. "He's the right person and player for us to commit to right now, as we build towards a Championship."
Kinsler, 25, has batted .274 with 34 home runs and 116 RBI in his first 250 Major League games in 2006-07. Last season, he produced just the third 20-homer season by a second baseman in Rangers franchise history, also ranking among the Majors' best in several other categories at the position. He recorded a team-high 23 stolen bases last season, the third-most by a Texas player in the last eight seasons (2000-07).
With this deal, the Rangers now have their middle infield combination of Kinsler and Michael Young under contract for at least the next five seasons through 2012. It would stretch to six seasons if the option on Kinsler is picked up.
In 2007, he batted .263 with 20 home runs, 61 RBI, and 96 runs in 130 games for Texas. He ranked fourth among American League second basemen and 10th among Major League second basemen in both slugging (.442 as 2B) and on-base percentage (.355). He led all A.L. second basemen with 20 home runs, tied for the fourth-highest total in the Majors and the third-highest single-season total at the position in Rangers history. He led the Rangers in runs, walks (62), and stolen bases last year, also ranking among team leaders in total bases (2nd, 213), home runs (T2nd), hits (T2nd, 127), extra-base hits (3rd, 44), and RBI (5th).
He was one of 14 players in the Majors and 5 in the A.L. with at least 20 homers and 20 steals, just the seventh 20/20 season in club history. Over the last nine seasons beginning 1999, the only second basemen to produce a season of 20 homers and 20 steals are Roberto Alomar (1999, 2001), Alfonso Soriano (2002, 2003, 2005), Brandon Phillips (2007), and Kinsler (2007).
Kinsler was voted as the Rangers' 2006 Rookie of the Year by the Dallas Fort-Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America after batting .286 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI in his first big league season. The club's 17th round selection in the 2003 June draft, Kinsler emerged with a 2004 season in which he was named the Rangers Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year after combining to hit .345 with 51 doubles, 20 home runs, and 98 RBI for Clinton (A) and Frisco (AA).
A native of Tucson, Kinsler and his wife, Tess, reside in the DFW Metroplex. Ian and Tess have served as the honorary chairpersons for the United States Marine Corp 'Toys for Toys' with the Texas Rangers for the last two years, making numerous appearances, taping television and radio spots, and hosting the Toy Drive Finale at Rangers Ballpark. Their commitment has helped raise thousands of toys as well as increasing awareness in the Metroplex community for the USMC Toys for Tots program. Ian also makes many appearances on behalf of the club during the off-season to promote the Rangers' charitable endeavors.
Tess is also very active in the Rangers wives' charitable activities and heads up the wives softball team that will be competing against the Astros wives again this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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