Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Prince Fielder Will Sign With the Blue Jays

Let me start by saying that I have never thought up until today that there was any real chance that Prince Fielder would sign with the Blue Jays.  The team has never given any indication that they would, and I have been the first to tell others that it's not happening.  Sure I would daydream every now and then what it would be like to have both Fielder and Jose Bautista in the middle of the Blue Jays line-up, however I never though it would happen, in spite of any reports to the contrary.  That is until today, and for no other reason that when I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together in my head I realized that Toronto is really Prince Fielder's only option.

What you say???  What about all the other reports about numerous teams being interested in him.  Well, we need to remember he is being represented by Scott Boras who is the king of spinning false interest in his clients and in early December he had even convinced a reporter to break the story that Fielder had narrowed his list of teams down to three, which also happened to included the Blue Jays.  Additionally, when you start looking at the teams that are reportedly interested, all of them have denied any interest.

Let's go through the list:

1. Washington
According to there's a "99 percent" chance that the Nationals will not sign Prince Fielder.  Additional reports suggest that after the Jayson Werth signing last year which is not quite working out the way they expected, they are a bit gun shy to hand out another big contract, and they say the teams situation is settled at first base with Adam LaRoche.

2. Seattle
According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick Seattle's interest in Fielder is "extremely overblown." and an agent reports are that they only have $3 to $4 million left for this years budget

3. Milwaukee
Prince's former team has moved on and signed Aramis Ramirez instead, and with Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration there is little money left to bring back Fielder.

4. Texas
According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, if Texas signs Yu Darvish, there is reportedly no money left for Fielder

5. Miami
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports a high ranking official in Miami has stated the team "is not and will not" be pursuing Prince Fielder

6. Baltimore
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN that there is "no way" the Orioles will give Fielder the kind of money he wants, and the teams General Manager Dan Duquette says they won't be players for Fielder.

7. Cubs
The Cubs have just acquired their first baseman of the future in Anthony Rizzo.

8. Cardinals
Rather than paying a princely sum, the Cardinals have signed Carlos Beltran instead and Lance Berkman will be the teams 2012 1st baseman

9. Dodgers
The teams general manager Ned Colleti has said the team is likely done spending as "we are at our payroll"

That completes the list of team with reported interest in Prince Fielder, could there be others?  Possibly San Francisco, however they have never been linked to Fielder and John Heyman of CBS sports reports that Fielder does not want to go to the West Coast.  Maybe Arizona, but they've got Paul Goldschmidt at 1st base who is young, inexpensive and controllable for the next 6 years.  I guess you can never count out the Red Sox and Yankees, but their 1st base and DH situations are filled.  This really only leaves one team, the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Also, the Toronto Blue Jays have never denied interest in Prince Fielder, they have just balked at his asking price and contract term demands.  However, if they are the only bidder then Fielder will eventually have to give in to the demands of the Blue Jays and settle for a maximum 5 year deal.  After all, Alex Anthopoulos has a value for all players and if a contact for Fielder meets what they believe is his value, and it makes sense for the team, then he's willing to make such moves.

Update: According to the Washington Post the owners of the Washington Nationals met with agent Scott Boras to discuss Prince Fielder, therefore the "99 per cent" chance that he won't sign with the team comment may have been nothing more than posturing.  Something that a lot of teams may be doing to try to get the price down.

Update 2: According to Jon Paul Morosi the Blue Jays are "not a serious suitor for Prince Fielder" and that "Price/years would need to come way down".  Well the hypothesis of my article is that since apparently no one is interested in Prince Fielder at his current demands, his price/years will have to come way down if he wants to play anywhere next season.

Picture “Photoshopping” courtesy Chris Creamer, baseball card template courtesy Andrew Meyer, via Getting Blanked


  1. If the Price is right on Prince, maybe the Blue Jays should go for it. With each passing week, it seems like Scott Boras is losing his leverage, even though he keeps trying to prop up his client.

    I don't think it's the total dollars that AA is afraid of so much as the term. If they can do a 5-year deal with more money per year, that would be beneficial to both the Blue Jays and Prince. Fielder would hit free agency again at age 32 and then could go for a REALLY big pay day.

  2. Valid points.

    You could also throw in point 10. Blue Jays - AA admits spending has finished.

    But then were out of options, lol...

  3. Ian - I agree, it seems Anthopoulos is more concerned about the term than the money, however I have my doubts that he would be prepared to spend close to $25 million annually on Fielder, even at a reduced term. If it gets closer to $20 million, now we are talking.

    J. Paquin - You are right the Blue Jays comments are just as valid as any of the links I have posted, however I think a big difference is that the Jays still have the money to spend, if they want to.

    1. Agreed once again. Also, I never believe anything that AA says. He is a master at misdirection.

  4. Pretty good analysis. I think part of the Blue Jays reticence on FA's is that they believe Bautista and Romero are the team leaders and probably want them to be the highest paid players at their position. I also think that they want to see what a healthy and experienced Lind can do before making a move on another 1B.

    That said, I'm all for it although I'd rather see something like a 3 year $85mm deal with mutual options for 2 more.

    1. listen man lind has proven that he is no better than a good 7th batter in the lineup guy and if they can upgrade to a legitimate threat and protection for bautista then you have to do whats right for the ball club, and put the feelings aside about bautista having to be the highest [paid guy. however i do feel that if AA wanted to make this move he should have done it two months ago when he wouldve been able to add lind to a trade, instead of giving up a stud prospect like molina.

  5. Enjoyed reading your thoughts.

    Just a note: highly doubt Boras convinced that Cleveland clown to write anything. It's far more likely that writer is a moron who follows @IncarceratedBob and took what he tweets seriously.

  6. You'd have to assume that if the price came down into an area where the Jays were comfortable, there would likely be another team or two (Nats, Seattle, Baltimore, Texas)that would also be more comfortable..

    Also recently posted:
    There are more teams involved than the ones that have been reported and most of the unnamed teams are from the National League, a source close to the situation told Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle.

    1. Yes, obviously other teams would become involved and likely the Nationals would be considered the frontrunners.

      The other option for Fielder would be to take an apparent one year deal offered by Milwaukee, and try free agency again next year.

      As for Fielder signing with the Jays, I'm being a bit tongue in cheek about it happening, the real story is that there is no interest in Fielder at his current demands.

  7. I'd love to see Prince signed, but man.... he's 5'11" and 275lbs. I like the 3yr 85m was said above. By then he'll be 5'9" and 375.

  8. honetlsy i think that anthopolous should give fielder a 6 year deal if that gets the job done

  9. I would love to see the Jays sign Fielder but just don't see AA willing to spend any big money until he's got a bunch of the crop of youngsters playing on the major league team. Unfortunately that will mean Fielder is not available. We have a glaring need at first base and a young, All Star first basement is available today - AA you gotta go for it today! Sign Fielder already, don't chance waiting and finding nothing is available then.

  10. He signed with Tigers. LOL