Fielder News


Q.  Hey Doc - check this out:  "Prince Fielder Has Made It Very Clear He Wants To Be With the Rangers."

A.  Looking at the headline of the article, you'd think that Fielder had said that.  Actually Grant says that the fact that Prince has not signed yet --- > is what makes it very clear that Fielder intends to go to Texas.  

:- )

You get down into the article and it looks like nothing more than another round of "Seems logical to me" hypothesizing.  The entire substance is this:

But it’s very, very clear that this is where he wants to be. He’s waiting all winter, guys who normally have the kind of contract demands he has usually sign in December. We’re now in the second week of January and he’s still sitting there unsigned. It appears that he and Scott Boras have been waiting all along for the Rangers to get their Darvish situation settled so they could get down to brass tacks between Prince and the Rangers.

That doesn't say that Fielder made such a statement - it is simply Grant reading this out of the fact that he's still unsigned and Grant attaching this to the Darvish delay.

Or did I miss something there?


From a business angle, here's the problem with Grant's logic:  the Rangers could very easily work two deals at once, as the Angels worked Pujols and Wilson simultaneously.  In fact, GM's don't work two deals at once; they work about twelve deals at once.  The only reason to wait-and-see would be because a Darvish signing would preclude a Fielder signing, right?  That is the scenario in which Darvish's timing would matter.

In fact, here's an article in which Boras "hopes that the Rangers don't sign Yu Darvish" - because whoever signs Fielder is going to lay out huge cash, or course.  The bloggers are thinking, 4-, 5-year discounted deal on Fielder so that they can get Darvish and Fielder both...


On the same radio show, the commenters offer Prince a 4- or 5-year deal:

He was talking eight, nine or 10 years. He wasn’t going to get that from anybody, everybody’s afraid of that body and what it’s going to be like in five or six years. I think if you can get Prince Fielder for four or five years, I think it’s well worth considering in where you’re going to be, and especially as negotiations progress with Josh Hamilton. You have to decide what you want to do with him, because now it's come out that he wants six years. So I think both of those guys, those are both questionable deals to extend them both that far. So I think they’ll have to make up their mind on which power hitter they want.

This blows their cover, as to whether they actually have any feel whatsoever for what is going on with Prince Fielder.  Although, to be fair, Grant in this article offers Fielder maybe 7 years if the club has protections in the deal.

Fielder could of course wind up in Texas, but this particular article doesn't give any more credence to the chances of that, in my opinion.


CA, if I recall correctly, heard about 8/$220M on the M's part, option 9th year.  Dr. D's grok of the situation is that the M's actually would do something in that neighborhood - Teixeria money, at least.

Could be wrong, but if the M's offer $40M more guaranteed money than everybody else -- right now it looks like that's the case -- then, well, you are talking about Scott Boras here.

Nolan Ryan says today,


ARLINGTON - Rangers President and CEO Nolan Ryan on Saturday described his meeting with free agent Prince Fielder as a "very preliminary" step in potential contract negotiations.

"We're currently trying to improve the ballclub any way we can," Ryan told fans during a question-and-answer session at Rangers Fan Fest Saturday morning. "We're looking at every opportunity we have. We were trying to get a feel for where they are and what they are looking for. It was very preliminary. It was just an initial meeting."

Read:  If Prince wants to play here cheap, we might be interested.  Let us know, Prince.

Once again, Scott Boras trying frantically to get the price up.


C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton were, by all accounts, the spiritual leaders of the Rangers' tight-knit family.  You know, Albert Pujols to LAA was a gutkick, and CJ Wilson to LAA was a gutkick.  But the Rangers swapping out CJ Wilson and Josh Hamilton for Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder?  And maybe losing Mike Napoli into the bargain?  Why would that scare M's fans?


Dr D



Michael Young is owed $16M, I think, over the next two seasons.
Wha would dumping Young mean to the Rangers' chance of signing Fielder?
Lots, I think.  But they probably have to cover some of his salary....
Then Hamilton is up after next year.....
If you could dump Figgins and his $8M for Young and his $16M, would you do it?


I agree that chance of getting Prince is near nil now. Thus, where do we go next?
Moe... I like it!! Get r done. At least it is moving forward.
I really would like to see Z pull off another trade - OR TWO.
We still have a lot young talent, and I do not think we can afford to wait and see. Come on Jack and rest of those highly paid M's talent evaluators... pick a couple guys to ride and go with it.


He's neutered outside of Texas, and Safeco is doubly bad.  He doesn't even have a .700 OPS here for his career (most of a season's worth of ABs).
He's a good hitter in the right park.  Just like Jeff Cirillo was.
I don't want a 35 and 36 year old Young any more than I'd want a 35 and 36 year old Cirillo.
Even if it dumps Figgins.  

ghost's picture

I also don't want to do anything at all that improves Texas' chances of signing Fielder.

ghost's picture

The Rangers are close to a deal for Darvish...barring some unforeseen disaster...he'll be in Texas...which means they will indeed be forced to choose between Hamilton and Fielder. In the Rangers' boat...I think I can get Hamilton for lesser years and since both of them are long-term injury gambles...I think I go ahead and keep my franchise player and let Fielder go the Mariners' boat...I'd much rather have Fielder than Hamilton...but different clubs have different needs.

Anonymous's picture

I'm not signing him either.  Question was purely speculative.


into a corner. I agree the Rangers now will not pursue Fielder unless the market collapses, which it won't.
We don't know whether the Montero trade has so lessened Seattle's urgency for a bat they they have dropped out of prime consideration. If so, then it's between Washington and the bevy of teams sitting on the sideline waiting, any one of which could emerge as a mystery team. But Boras' leverage is crumbling for anything even approaching the years he was demanding. (Edited to add, somehow in my brain there is a distinction between "crumbling" leverage and the market "collapsing," though I'll be doggone if I can explain it, LOL.)
Should be an interesting few days between now and the end of the week.

Lakay's picture

They are reporting here (Japan) in an early morning flash that Yu is signed to a 6-year deal a little bit more than Matsuzaka got. Uh, that is if I got my hearing/translation right.


By the way, since you're in Japan, do you have a take on Iwakuma's health / fastball velocity for 2012?


The Rangers remain interested in Prince Fielder, but Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News says it would likely take a creative, short-term deal to make it happen.
“I’m intimately aware of our budget and it’s very unlikely," said GM Jon Daniels to reporters (including's T.R. Sullivan) when asked about Fielder. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports corroborates these reports (Twitter link), saying the slugger's price must come way down.
No more and no less than one more team that is saying, Sure, Scott, at half that money.
There are, what, 20 teams that will take Fielder on the terms above.  No wonder Boras was publicly rooting for a Darvish fail.  That might have been his last decent hope.


If they had the money to sign both Darvish and Fielder, why would they wait until the middle of January to START talking to Prince? Clearly they are not players at all.
Can this finally be the point that things actually move forward, does Boras finally  succumb to reality and actually negotiate? What else could he possibly be waiting for?


Fielder pulls a Carlos Delgado.
Boras has struck out and waited too long - nobody is gonna give him the money and years now that the greedy sunofagun wants.
So.  Detroit just lost their DH.  Prince is gonna sign a 1-year deal with them for 15-20 mill, echoes of Delgado's 1 year in Florida when Boras held out too long and the Ms went with Sexson instead because Carlos didn't want to leave the East Coast.
And then we'll do all this next year, and somebody will cave and give Prince something in the neighborhood of what he wants when the needs and the teams in the mix are different, or restrictions have changed.
My early 2012 wager in that scenario is, say...Texas, once they either trade Hamilton for a gob of prospects this year or let him walk after the season.
Tell him to walk right on up here to Seattle and replace Ichiro.  We have the money.  Ackley / Hamilton / Montero / Smoak / Carp / Franklin sounds like a fun party to center the lineup around, especially if Liddi and Wells can do much of anything. 


I was assured by many people that there was zero possibility of a truly gifted bat being on the FA market next year.  I mean ... if Fielder just does a one year, that would mean ...
If Montero works out at catcher ... and Carp sticks in left ... and Smoak comes to life at first ... and Guti bounces back in Center ... but the Ms don't hit Yahtzee while rotating 3-6 prospects through the DH slot ... that Fielder might turn into exactly the right piece a year from now ... after the club has had a year to get a clearer read on precisely what its needs going forward will be.
Then again, if Carp can't hack it as a LF and settles in at DH while Smoak is hitting up a storm at first ... Fielder doesn't have a slot, and we're on the market for a big hitting corner OF in 2013. 
But all that is fantasy ... because it's a given that there will be no big bats anywhere on the FA market in 2013.  :)


I thought you were the one screaming that a 27 year old bat is on the downside of his career and a ridiculous investment to make.  Hamilton will be 31, so how much further down the slope is he?
If Fielder isn't a FA bat worth purchasing for full-price then there isn't one that will be.  I expect you to hate whomever we might try to add, so don't worry - I'm ready to listen again to you telling me what a bad idea it is to add real players to a team from the outside.
It's okay, we've got a while yet to have this argument.  Take your time.


My argument with the Ms is they don't need a big investment FA *now*.  Why?  Because they really don't have a clue where they stand today.
I have NEVER contended that big FA splashes are 100% to be avoided.
A year from now, the Ms "might" be in a position where a big splash FA is exactly what they need.  Then again, they might not.  The Vlad addition by the Angels was near perfect, because they already had built a really solid base.  The Nationals adding Werth was almost suicidally stupid.
There's a lot of gray area out there.  You can "bet big" at the right time, a lot too early, a little too early, or utterly stupid.  If the Ms had gone after a $25 million bat after tha 2010 season, I would have said "utterly stupid".  After 513 runs, 61 wins and ZERO returning players who managed a 100 OPS+, spending multiple years on a big contract FA would have been 100% PR that would've doomed the club to another 10 years like the last 10.
After 2011, my view is that the Ms currently stand somewhere between a little too early and a lot too early.  They've got a handful of interesting prospects with incredibly short resumes.  Another year "might" answer enough questions that a big move is warranted.  It "might" not.  I could land on either side of the debate a year from now.
But ... it is important to understand that when you bet large on an expensive multi-year FA that *most* of your bet is about the immediate (next 2-3 years) future.  You can factor in later year decline and still justify the expense.  When the Angels added Vlad for his age 30-34 years, they had ALREADY won a WS (in 2002), but figured (correctly) that they'd get a few .900+ seasons out of Vlad to go with the solid base they already had ... and that they could live with whatever decline he suffered at the tail end of that contract as new talent came up through the pipeline.  Vlad's OPS+ line with Anaheim:
154138147130107 (only 100 games)
That was near perfect.  They went to the playoffs in 4 of Vlad's 5 seasons, (but they never even made it back to the Series with him).  They swapped in Torii Hunter in 2008 (Vlad's final season) with another well-timed 5-year contract.  I personally would've felt with his age that the risk of decline was too high to make that bet, but Anaheim got away in good shape with Hunter.  But, of course, he wasn't supposed to be a 150 OPS+ bat anyway.  But Anaheim understood they didn't have the OF talent in their pipeline when they snagged Torii.  He was a need they could not fill easily from the farm.
What the Marlins did in adding Reyes is kind of where I see the Ms next season.  They (ideally) will have a decent foundation of young talent with 1-2 years of experience and then they can look at adding a major piece or two to finish the puzzle. Mind you, I can see both sides of the argument with the Marlins.  They have some young talent, but are they "really" close enough where the big move is timed right?   Stanton, Bonifacio, Sanchez, Hanley ... the answer could easily be yes.  But, it's still a gamble.  They only won 72 (which matches their pythag), so they aren't much ahead of where the Ms were in 2011 in terms of won/loss.  But, the Marlins had a 93 OPS+ and a 99 ERA+.  Add Josh Johnson back to the rotation and bet on some of that under-30 talent improving ... it's a gamble, but a defensible one.  Personally, I think they jumped the gun.  I don't think they'll overtake the Phillies or Braves.  But I see the argument.
The difference between Fielder today and a year from now is that, if you're asking 8 years today, you're only asking 7 next year.  The difference is that you didn't spend the $22 million in the year you truly had no shot at all of winning, and because of that, you had an extra 700 PAs to spread around among your prospects to accellerate your process of determining who is legit and who isn't.  But, mostly, you confirm (or not) that Fielder is actually the piece you need.
I still believe that utlimately, the Ms are going to realize they're okay at both 1B and DH and Fielder is going to not be what they really need.  I think they'll discover that the piece they really need to compete with Anaheim and Texas is going to be in the OF, (I think by end of 2012 they realize they have TWO OF positions that need filling, but are solid at 1B and DH).  But there isn't nearly enough data available to feel comfortable about such a projection.

OBF's picture

Maybe The M's can throw their hat (and extra moolah) into the ring for this guy:
Yoenis Cespedes
There have been a number of teams lurking around him and he seems to have quite a bit of buzz coming out of Cuba.  And unlike young guys like Yuni, he is a bit older and hopefully a lot closer to contibuting at the MLB level.  I no nothing about him, but he seems to have some buzz and I am sure 10 million bucks or so would go a LONG way to convincing him to be a Mariner instead of a Cub ;)


Signed Wilson Betemit.  He's described weirdly as a utility player, but a look at his fielding record, shows over 2700 innings at 3rd, 400 at short (none since 2008), less than 400 at 1st and a basically insignificant number of innings at 2nd and the outfield.  I imagine he's being brought in to play 3rd, which signals that Dan Duquette doesn't agree with Buck Showalter that Mark Reynolds can play 3rd, or the Reynolds is about to be traded (and my guess if both).  My plans are coming to fruition!

benihana's picture

Mystery team wins again.   Boras's offseason is saved. 
And for the record - I would not have mached that deal were I the M's.
Time to get Plan B moving.
 - Ben.

glmuskie's picture

That being, Montero.  Props to Jack Z for reading this early and making the best move he could for the M's.
Was it GMoney?  Who predicted the Tigers.  Although in a short-term deal to offset VMart.  Props there.
I think it's safe to say that even if the M's offered bigger money and/or years, that Fielder wasn't coming to Seattle; he just didn't want to be here.

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