I was thinking the same thing, start making public calls about moving Chone Figgins for Carlos Lee, Paul Konerko, or Travis Hafner. Maybe pull the trigger and nring Mark Reynolds to town. Call Boros up and ask if 4/40 would get it done for Ed Jackson.
MLB TRADE RUMORS (Professor): I have acquired interesting new information this Tuesday! With these facts, a breakthrough in my investigations appears to be imminent!
MEDIA (Gilligan): That's great, Professor!! :: turns to Skipper :: What did he say again? :- (
THURSTON HOWELL III (ML executives): (interrupting) Why, my boy, isn't it it obvious? The most lucrative solution is in a shorter term with a higher annual return.
MEDIA (Gilligan): That's what I said! :: turns to Skipper :: Isn't that what I say?!
SKIPPER (Boras): (booming voice) IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY, MR. HOWELL!
THURSTON HOWELL III (ML executives): AAAAhhhhhhh.... this is Scott Boras I'm talking to, correct? I'd hate to bargain with the wrong borrower, as it were! :chuckles:
SKIPPER (Boras): A 3-year deal is out of the question. Don't you get it? The team wouldn't get to call its boat The Prince and show it to all of the children and their children's children.
And Prince wouldn't get to be shown to children. And Prince is going to get fatter, by the way. I'm not representing this guy in three years.
GINGER (Seattle Mariners): ... (coo's, sidles up to Skipper) ... I've never found money to be the most important thing in life...
MEDIA (Gilligan): So, even though Prince doesn't want three years, there are no long-term deals except Seattle, right? So three years makes you look good, Skipper?
SKIPPER (Boras): ... a 3-year-deal is out of the question! The point is, where can Prince Fielder get a statue? Prince isn't some hired gun! He's a family guy! He wants to be loved! And in 3 years, anybody can balloon to 410 lbs.
GINGER (M's): mmmmmmmmmmm He can be a family guy here in Seattle!
SKIPPER (Boras): SSSSiiiiiiiggggghhhhhhhhhhhh Isn't there someplace else that Prince can be an icon?
GINGER (M's): [a single tear rolls down her cheek]
THURSTON HOWELL III (ML executives): I've already advised you, my boy.
We are two months into the bidding and if somebody wanted Prince Icon, they'd have issued the capital to acquire Prince Icon. We've seen enough to make an investment decision. There is no market for Prince Icon. There shall be no market for Prince Icon.
GINGER (M's): mmmmmmmmmmm (increase sultriness) He can be an icon here in Seattle!
SKIPPER (Boras): Isn't there ANY place else Prince can be an icon?
PROFESSOR (MLBTR): I've scoured the island for information on this. The facts are well established. Icons simply do not manifest half-life processes. What Prince needs to do is to wait, and be an icon in 2015.
SKIPPER (BORAS): I'VE ALREADY TOLD YOU, YOU IDIOT! WE'RE NOT TAKING 3 YEARS! WE'RE NOT EVEN TAKING 6 YEARS! WE WANT TEN, AND WE MIGHT CAVE TO EIGHT AT THE CLOSING TABLE!
GILLIGAN (media): So, 3 years it is, right Skipper?
SKIPPER (Boras): ............. (forces esophagus back down throat with tremendous swallow)
GINGER (M's): (pouting) a girl can't wait forever :- (
MARY ANN (SSI): Ginger, maybe you should find somebody else to flirt with? Would that help anything? ! Then Mr. Prince might see what he's missing and ask you out on a date!
GINGER (M's): (brightens) Whyyyyy Marrrry Annn! You just may be on to something!
MARY ANN (even brighter): At least there is nobody else who wants to marry him! Here we are two months on the island, and every native girl has told him no.
I heard one of them, in Washington, tell him "certainly not." Another one in Texas, he barely got the rumor into the newspaper and she said "by no means" - not to him, but to her girlfriend. You know what it means when she tells her girlfriend! Another one, Baltimore, she said she might go out with him for five years if he promised not to try to kiss her.
He thought one of them would give in somewhere, but now they're smashing banana cream pies into his face when he opens his mouth to say hello. That's got to be good for you, right? The more he tries, the madder they're getting!
GINGER (M's): :- ( It's not very good for a girl's ego, you know, Mary Ann. I remember a catcher from Japan one time...
MARY ANN (SSI): :: patting hand :: I know what it's like, Ginger. At SSI nobody knows she's the hot girl on the island, either.
But you heard the Skipper. Prince isn't going on any dates. He wants a wife, and you're the only one not married. You just keep being Ginger and everything will work out all right.
GINGER (M's): What do you think he'd do if I said, "be there Friday at 8:00 pm or we'll never talk to each other again?"
MARY ANN (SSI): I think if you did that and promised to wear your black dress, he'd sign. 8 and 180.
SKIPPER (Boras): :- |
...is to offer Derrek Lee 3 years 36 million or something like that...something someone else will probably top, but might scare Fielder into signing on the dotted line. Because Seattle will not be bullied and Boras will not play Z for a fool.
I'm not sure that Ginger's flirting with the Professor or Casey Kotchman or JD Drew or Jeremy Hermida would make the Prince Icon too jealous.
But I think she's going to get him for less than 8X180.
If Ginger was that desperate she would have got him yesterday.
I absolutely agree, not with Casey Kotchman, but maybe with Carlos Pena. Maybe be public about exploring swapping Chone Figgins for Carlos Lee, Travis Hafner, or Paul Konerko(who admittedly would take more than Chone Figgins lesser salary). Maybe get a deal done for Mark Reynolds who wouldn't necessarily block Fielder. Call Boros up and ask if 4/40 would get it done for Ed Jackson
Jeff, if you had been on the writing staff for Gilligan's Island we would still be watching fresh episodes today! I hope all is well!!!
One part of the analogy that works VERY well:
Ginger currently resides on a deserted island far away from the shipping lanes.
I agree, if I'm Jack, unless I'm 95% sure I'm going to get Fielder before the middle of January (and I don't think Jack feels that way right now) I tell Boras I'm moving to plan B next week and moves will be made that preclude further discussion of his premier remaining unsigned client. Then I make very public initial steps towards those moves while dragging my feet on finalizing them until a week from Friday. At that point. I move on.
If it's going to break down, I want it to break down on my initiative and on my terms.
Jay Bruce, Justin Morneau, Joey Votto, Justin Upton, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, Nick Swisher, and twice that many other big names could be had in the right deal.
What the fans kick around, and theorize about, is a completely different question from what the GM's talk about.
It's just that Jack would be able to hang on to Taijuan Walker, and everybody else, in a Prince deal.
An offer nearly big enough to land an impact player.
Somewhat akin to the idea of "price enforcing" in $260 roto - you offer 75% with tactical intentions, and if you wind up with the guy, no problem.
You might make a 75% trade offer on Votto, Bruce, or Mike Stanton. I believe if I were Z, that's just how I'd play it, and make sure it got leaked.
"Not only is that inaccurate and delusional, but it seems that some people have gotten into their New Year's Eve stash just a little bit early this year" - MLBTR
It's all about length of contract, which logically (though perhaps not in reality) puts the Mariners further in front than we had realized.
It seems quite safe to say that Fielder's coming to the AL.
Toronto has an ownership-down mandate to keep contracts to 5 years or less. Anaheim has Pujols. Boston has AGone, Ortiz and Youkilis. Tampa Bay doesn't pay like that. Detroit has the one* first baseman who's demonstrably better than Fielder (and two mega-contracts now).
Texas has repeatedly said no, with conviction; Baltimore says sure, if he costs a lot less than reported.
I guess Boras either pulls a miracle in Texas, Baltimore or New York, or Fielder has to hold his nose and take the Mariners' money.
Could it be as simple as Prince has zero interest in being a DH?
As a matter of course, pro athletes have massive egos. At his current age and weight, what is the #1 negative raised about Prince? Weight, weight, don't tell me.
If the man has told Boras he wants to play 1B, and has zero interest in DHing for the next 6 years, what would that do to his odds of coming to Seattle? Of course, if this is the case, the last thing Boras would want would be for this tidbit to become public, because that just shrinks the bidding pool and lowers his leverage.
Honestly, considering the sheer volume of "why hasn't he signed with us already - we're the only ones seriously after him" posts, I'm just about sold. By Occam's Razor, he doesn't want to play for Seattle. And the simplest explanation in that regard is that he has no desire to DH.
So that got me wondering. Does he DH exclusively in AL parks? (No). How has he done as a DH over his career? (dreadful).
as 1B: .283/.392/.542/.934 (4097 PAs)as DH: .247/.295/.466/.761 (78 PAs)as PH: .265/.278/.471/.748 (36 PAs)
The sample is too small to leap to any kind of firm conclusion. But it sure ain't comforting, is it? He's only DHed 18 times in his career and his BB/K ratio is 5/23, (should be 5/7).
Mind you, 7 years from now, depending on how his knees feel, he might warm up to the idea. But, not today. Short of trading Smoak away, I don't know how one could possibly sell Fielder on the idea that he wouldn't be a pretty much exclusive DH if he were to sign with the Ms. NOBODY is going to suggest that Fielder should play 1B and Smoak should DH. Not going to happen. If Carp were the incumbent 1B, perhaps you could make that sale. But not Smoak.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering if Prince is just suffering at the plate because he isn't familiar with AL pitchers. I looked up his career inter-league line:
Inter-League: .269/.353/.560/.913 (399 PAs)
In truth, Fielder reminds me a bit of Frank Thomas. Of course, Thomas was always vocal about his distaste for DHing. He always professed a preference to playing the field, (even if he wasn't very good at it). When his career ended, Thomas would have 4300 PAs as a 1B and 5700 as a DH. His OPS differential? About 180 points: 1078 as a 1B and .899 while DHing. In fairness, as he got older, Thomas played less 1B, so his decline years are skewing the data a bit.
So, what about the same basic time frame as Fielder? What were his DH/1B splits in his age 27/29/31 seasons, ('95/'97'/'99). I picked these three seasons because they all had a roughly 90/50 split between 1B and DH PT.
Pos - 1995 - 1997 - 19991B: - 1172 - 1129 - .975DH: - .875 - .943 - .836
So, in '95 he was 300 points better as a 1B. In '97, he was 180 points better. In '99, he was a paltry 140 points better.
While I'm not a big fan of adding Fielder, (I think he'll set the rebuild back rather than push it forward), the actual biggest danger I view is that it is NOT uncommon for players to have trouble adjusting to being a DH. Frank Thomas was a superb hitter. Yet, even in his prime, he routinely hit 150-200 points better when playing the field.
Fielder is a career .930 bat. What if Fielder *only* suffers a 100 point decline in OPS after moving from a slight hitters park to a major pitchers park - and changes to DHing? How many people think it would be wise to spend $25 million a year for the next 6 years on a DH hitting .830? Would that be money well spent?
I can hear the cries of "that's not going to happen" already. They'll be coming from the same people that argued "Teixeira is not going to decline any time soon," when the Yanks signed him for 8 years, while I was arguing that they'd probably get 3 good years. Well, I admit I was wrong. They got one good year. He hasn't broken .850 the last two seasons despite playing in one of the best hitters parks in baseball.
I also argued against Dunn as a high-priced DH warning that like many others he might have trouble adjusting to DHing. Anyone think the ChiSox wish they had put more weight on that variable before handing Dunn $56 million?
But, I think what really kills me is that over the past 5 years so many people were vocal about how badly skewed the talent was from NL to AL, pointing out repeatedly that hitters in particular did not typically transition well when traveling away from the Senior Circuit. Yet, today, when there is an NL hitter on the market that Seattle might have a chance at, those concerns magically vanish.
Me? I continue to hope the Ms whiff on Fielder. Given his size, the league change, the park change, his poor record DHing ... I could easily see Fielder becoming the Mariners' version of Mo Vaughn were they to actually land him.
Good post, Sandy.
I think all of that (and the weight issue, of course) contributes to the weaker than anticipated (by Boras) market for Prince.
10 years was never happening.
8 would have happened by now, if it was going to happen.
6 is the likely number, but I wouldn't be surprised by a shorter contract with a Fielder option out.
I don't think it's an absolute lock that the M's sign him, but it is the best bet.
So convince the Prince. Deal Smoak, Figgins, Franklin, Paxton and Seager for that druggie buddy of Fielder. What's his name? Brown? Milwaukee should love the idea of getting rid of that cancer.