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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Heyman: Rangers might grab Fielder with kick at the finish

And let’s all welcome Jon Heyman to CBSSports! Thrills!

But where might Fielder get that kind of coin? Here are the contenders (with odds):

1. Rangers: They aren’t even completely in the game yet, but if the Rangers get in, look out. They have a superb team, ridiculous lineup and a great hitters park, all attributes that could lure Fielder. But will they play for Prince? Rangers people have been suggesting all along that their focus is pitching and trades, but that may just be because they haven’t yet gotten approval from upper management to offer what it would take. Club president Nolan Ryan, who never wanted to go beyond five years for Cliff Lee, hasn’t seemed the type to consider deals of eight years or longer. But he did go big last year with a late-in-the-winter five-year, $80 million deal for third baseman Adrian Beltre, so there is precedent for a surprise. The lineup is already arguably the best in baseball, but first baseman Mitch Moreland didn’t exactly distinguish himself in the playoffs and has a wrist injury to boot. There is word the Rangers have talked about trades for Moreland, giving rise to more rumors. While this team is excellent as is, the Rangers might want to counter the Angels, who stole ex-Texas ace C.J. Wilson and now have four starters who are more accomplished and arguably better than any of the Rangers’ starters. The way to combat that is with bats. Well, here’s one. Odds: 3-1

2. Cubs: Fielder is exactly the kind of free agent new execs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would want in that he is only 27 and carries the potential to be a cleanup man and foundation player for years to come. Fielder loves hitting in Wrigley Field, which can’t hurt, and of course, everyone loves Chicago. The Cubs aren’t exactly poor, either. They just paid $18.5 million for Epstein. Odds: 4-1

Repoz Posted: December 15, 2011 at 08:51 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, rumors

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. , Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#4017340)
I find it amusing that Nolan Ryan doesn't like long contracts.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#4017347)
Is this Ranger thing real, or just Lord Haw-Haw being Lord Haw-haw?
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#4017351)
Texas makes a lot of sense IMO, I think I predicted it in the FA Predictions thread only to be mocked. Mocked I say!
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#4017356)
Texas makes a lot of sense IMO, I think I predicted it in the FA Predictions thread only to be mocked. Mocked I say!

It makes sense, but they've seemed remarkably uninterested in spending real money on FAs.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:37 PM (#4017359)
I struggle to believe any team in this information age going beyond 4-5 years given the obvious issues surrounding Prince.
   6. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#4017361)
You have to admit, that apart from Michael Young, the contracts Texas has right now look pretty good.
   7. rlc Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#4017362)
obvious issues surrounding Prince


Besides the obvious tissues surrounding Prince, what are the other problems?
   8. RJ in TO Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#4017364)
You have to admit, that apart from Michael Young, the contracts Texas has right now look pretty good.

Even the Michael Young deal is hardly a disaster. While not of All-Star quality, the guy is still a solidly above average player.
   9. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#4017368)
#7 cracked me up.

I'd love to see the Cubs get him, but the Rangers do seem like a better fit. This was even discussed on Clubhouse Confidential yesterday with some fancy swooshing graphics and whatnot.

And I still think he'll get 8 years.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4017378)
I struggle to believe any team in this information age going beyond 4-5 years given the obvious issues surrounding Prince.


You have to be exaggerating, right? I don't think you'll actually be shocked when he eventually signs for 6+ years.
   11. spivey Posted: December 15, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#4017380)
You have to admit, that apart from Michael Young, the contracts Texas has right now look pretty good.

Part of that is because their best players aren't locked up for much longer (besides Beltre). Kinsler has 2 years (one of them a club option, which will certainly be picked up), Cruz has 2 years, and Napoli and Hamilton have 1 year. I'd prefer they replace Hamilton with Fielder or Darvish, but Cruz and Kinsler aren't going to be cheap. It's debatable how much Napoli would cost.
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#4017382)
rlc

I don't understand the tissues reference. Sorry.

If the rest is a serious question, you have a heavy set guy with a family history of blowing up like a Macy's Day balloon. He's a poor defensive player. He is a poor baserunner. He gives great effort at each but is limited. And if he does get heavier he will be far more limited.

And he loved hitting in Miller Park. Even with Texas being Texas I suspect Prince takes a step down offensively changing leagues. So that makes for a potentially very expensive DH if his other negatives make playing him on the field completely unattractive.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#4017384)
Nasty

I will be surprised.

I certainly wouldn't sign Prince for anything more than 5 with a club option for a sixth season and the related buyout clause.

I think it speaks poorly for a front office to give a guy with these red flags such a long-term commitment.
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:05 PM (#4017386)
As a follow up, the 5 plus 1 I wrote above is the Milwaukee approach I would support. Milwaukee has more to gain in re-signing Prince.

Other clubs should take more restrained approaches out of common sense.

I DO think Prince is motivated to pass all of his father's career records. But even with that fire burning from within he could still be out of the game in four years.

Heavy guys don't age well. This is not news
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#4017392)
I DO think Prince is motivated to pass all of his father's career records. But even with that fire burning from within he could still be out of the game in four years.


It shouldn't take that long to pass Big daddy. 90 more HR, 350 RBI, 300 hits, 170 runs. He's already passed him in triples and SB, and is tied in doubles. I guess the RBI's will take the longest, 3-3.5 years.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4017396)
But he's so young, in 4 years he will be 31/32. Maybe I'm just overly influenced by watching David Ortiz still being productive into his mid-30's. Whether it is a good idea or not, I would expect someone to sign him to a 6-year deal or longer.

Granted that Prince is a unique case, but are there any examples of a star free agent position player in their 20's signing for 5 years or less in the past decade or two?
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:18 PM (#4017399)
Misir

Correct.

Hence, my recommendation that he not be signed much beyond that point.

It isn't ALL about Dad but that stuff matters. I suspect part of his motivation to pass up on the extra cheeseburgers will go away once he passes the old man in homers, etc.
   18. TerpNats Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#4017402)
I don't see a team signing Fielder until after we learn who won the Darvish derby. Texas is in the running for both, but won't sign both.
   19. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#4017403)
I suspect part of his motivation to pass up on the extra cheeseburgers will go away

He's passing up on extra cheeseburgers?
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:24 PM (#4017405)
Nate

I hear you. I know what you are saying.

I am saying that with all the history and knowledge the clubs should know that this is the guy where things should change.

And I suspect it isn't the annual number that is delaying Fielder from signing. It's the years. I have to believe that everyone is ok with 20 odd million per annum

Just not for umpteen years.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#4017406)
chris

Oh yeah. Fielder gripes all the time about having to be careful about his eating habits.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4017408)
Terp

Haven't done a venn diagram to see who is in the mix for both but certainly something to consider
   23. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#4017409)
Fielder is exactly the kind of free agent new execs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would want in that he is only 27 and carries the potential to be a cleanup man and foundation player for years to come.


I guess Epstein and Hoyer's revolutionary "Sign good players before they're old" strategy is no longer a secret.
   24. Vance W Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#4017411)
Sure it may look like a bad contract in 2016 but is that relevant? The Rangers' window is right now. The Ballpark is practically built with a guy like Fielder in mind. They could accomplish a lot together in the next four years.
   25. , Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#4017417)
I think, if Dad is an issue, finishing "strong" and with dignity is pretty high on the list, too. Prince may be unable to stay in the league - none of us can fight genes - but I don't think he'll go quietly. I'd be fine with a 6 or 7 year deal, punting the last couple years as usual on a long contract.
   26. rlc Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#4017423)
Harveys

rlc

I don't understand the tissues reference. Sorry.


I was referring to the visible layers of fat that fill out Prince's uniform - but wondered if there were more subtle things that I hadn't heard about.
   27. Boxkutter Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:57 PM (#4017424)
He's passing up on extra cheeseburgers?


Yes. He has been a vegetarian since 2007/2008.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2011 at 01:33 AM (#4017481)
I don't think he's THAT great a fit for the Rangers. Young at DH, Fielder at 1B, now you've got to put Napoli behind the plate for 120 games with nowhere to put him on the off days, you've got a spare part in Moreland (who I don't imagine would bring much in trade) and a relatively expensive spare part in Torrealba (who might be tradeable). Granted, as problems go, too many good players is a nice one to have but it's not usually one you spend 6/$136.5 to create. And assuming he would have come back for the same money, CJ Wilson seems a better idea.
   29. The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2011 at 01:42 AM (#4017487)
He's already passed him in triples and SB
I don't think that's what Harveys was talking about...
   30. Basil Ganglia Posted: December 16, 2011 at 03:07 AM (#4017515)
Heyman is a Boras thrall, and one needs to ratchet up the skepto-meter whenever Heyman writes anything about a Boras client (or about someone who isn't a Boras client but whose situation might impinge significantly on a Borss client). Boras feeds information to Heyman to suit Boras' purposes that Boras wants out under Heyman's byline.

Boras often does give enough valid inside info to Heyman to give Heyman the scoops Heyman needs and make the relationship worthwhile to Heyman. But Boras also strategically uses Heyman as a mouthpiece as it suits Boras' purposes. IMHO, Heyman articles like this still carry the stench of Boras' hands as Boras endeavors to spin public perceptions toward his clients.
   31. Brian C Posted: December 16, 2011 at 04:33 AM (#4017547)
#30 - So what you're telling us is, this article might be accurate, unless it's not?
   32. Textbook Editor Posted: December 16, 2011 at 06:59 AM (#4017581)
BUT WHO IS THE MYSTERY TEAM, LORD HAW-HAW? WHAT SAYETH YOUR MASTER?
   33. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 16, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#4017829)
The most amazing thing about this article is that the odds actually add up. Very well done.
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#4017846)
Boras often does give enough valid inside info to Heyman to give Heyman the scoops Heyman needs and make the relationship worthwhile to Heyman. But Boras also strategically uses Heyman as a mouthpiece as it suits Boras' purposes


I don't think anyone will be surprised when we see the crawl on ESPNnews "CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is reporting that Prince Fielder has signed with....."
   35. BDC Posted: December 16, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4017855)
Good points as always in #28, though I have faith in Ron Washington being able to juggle players around creatively. (I hope that wouldn't lead to Prince in RF or something ...) On the whole, if the Rangers do get Fielder – he doesn't turn 28 till May, and he ought to provide exceptionally good cleanup hitting for another few years. By eight years from now I might be dead anyway, so what do I care about their payroll in 2019 :-D
   36. The Good Face Posted: December 16, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#4017897)
On the whole, if the Rangers do get Fielder – he doesn't turn 28 till May, and he ought to provide exceptionally good cleanup hitting for another few years. By eight years from now I might be dead anyway, so what do I care about their payroll in 2019 :-D


This. Although Texas is well situated for the future (strong farm system, good front office, deep pockets) their window for winning the World Series is RIGHT NOW. Even counting his bad defense (and can he really be worse than Michael Young at 1B?), Fielder is a 3-4 win upgrade over Mitch Moreland and almost certainly would be the best hitter in what's already a pretty good lineup.

The Rangers best players are either in or just past their primes, and a lot of them will be FAs in the next couple of years. Dump a load of money on Fielder for 6-7 (I'd be surprised if anybody gives him 8) years and push for the ring while the window is still open. Even if Fielder is toast at 32, the Rangers don't have any other lousy contracts besides Young who's gone in 2 years anyway, so Fielder's contract won't cripple the team by itself.

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