TagPrince Fielder

Rangers, D-Backs involved as market for Shin-Soo Choo reaches “critical stage”

With Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury off the board, Shin-Soo Choo is the biggest name remaining in the free agent market. And it sounds like he could find a new home during this week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida:

Many have speculated that the Tigers could also be involved, though that’s not confirmed.

David Murphy recently signed a two-year deal with the Indians while Craig Gentry was dealt to the Athletics, so the Rangers have some big questions in left field. Michael Choice, who was acquired in the Gentry deal is one option, though it’s unlikely they’ll go that way. Choo would obviously address that need quite nicely, though it will take around $100 million to make it happen.

On a related note, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels confirmed to Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram that he met with the agent for Nelson Cruz today. However, he added that the team has likely already made their big offseason splash with the Prince Fielder deal. Sounds exactly like someone who could have something big cooking.

UPDATE: Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks are also in on Choo and remain “active on multiple fronts.”


Tigers win big in shedding Prince Fielder’s contract

Give lots of credit to Dave Dombrowski; the potential nightmare back half of Prince Fielder‘s nine-year, $214 million contract is no more.

Instead, Fielder and the $168 million he’s still owed is gone after two mildly disappointing seasons in Detroit, with Ian Kinsler‘s more palatable deal coming back. There will be some cash also going to Texas, but not so much as to make this look like anything but a win for Detroit.

Kinsler, who is owed $62 million for four years or $67 million for five if his option is picked up, supplants free agent Omar Infante as the Tigers’ second baseman. He won’t replace Fielder’s bat in the cleanup spot, but he can be just as valuable of a player, depending on how much of Fielder’s decline these last two years is for real.

Most importantly, the move shores up Detroit’s defense by getting Miguel Cabrera back to first base where he belongs. Now the Tigers can also return top prospect Nick Castellanos to his original position of third base. He was moved to left field last year because of Cabrera’s presence a the hot corner.

As of this moment, it looks like the trade frees up $8 million for the Tigers to spend this winter, though that depends on the schedule of the cash payments to Texas. If the Tigers aren’t confident in Castellanos, they could go sign Juan Uribe to play third base. They can also use some of the savings on their bullpen. For the long haul, that Fielder cash may be earmarked for a new Max Scherzer deal. Scherzer, the Al Cy Young Award winner, is a free agent after next season.

The Rangers get better on the field with the one-for-one deal, but it’s at a cost of inheriting one of the game’s worst contract. Most likely, Fielder will put up a better line next year than the .279/.362/.457 he hit while going through a divorce in a career-worst 2013 season. He’s just turning 30 in May, and while his body type suggests an early decline is quite possible, he probably has at least one or two more .900-OPS seasons in him. Also, the Rangers now have their spot freed up for young Jurickson Profar, who will step in at second base and could be an All-Star come 2015 or 2016.

Still, the Rangers didn’t need to go this route. They could have signed Mike Napoli for something like $45 million over three years. They could have shifted Kinsler to the outfield or traded him for a youngster or two, perhaps without eating any portion of his salary. Going after Fielder instead looks like an ownership move more along the lines of what we’ve come to expect from the Angels (Vernon Wells, Albert Pujols). It should work out fine for a couple of years, but what comes afterwards could get ugly.

Tigers, Rangers agree to trade involving Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler

Minutes ago, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Tigers and Rangers had been discussing a trade involving first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Ian Kinsler. Apparently, talks progressed quickly because both teams have agreed to a trade, Heyman reports.

Another player could be involved in the trade, but that has not been confirmed yet, nor have any possible details involving each player’s financial situation.

The Tigers will likely move Miguel Cabrera across the diamond to first base. The Tigers will some more financial flexibility with which to keep AL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer around while they pursue a new third baseman. The Rangers, meanwhile, will fill the hole vacated by Kinsler at second base with Jurickson Profar while Fielder displaces Mitch Moreland at first base.

Update: Evan Grant tweets that the Rangers are, in fact, getting cash along with Fielder in the deal. Jon Morosi tweets that no other players are involved; it is a one-for-one trade.


Jon Daniels didn’t view Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton as an either-or situation

From Hardball Talk

Now that Prince Fielder is officially a member of the Detroit Tigers, many have assumed that the Rangers will step up their efforts to sign Josh Hamilton to a contract extension.

While contract talks are expected to continue leading into spring training, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said during an appearance yesterday on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas (via Jon Machota of FOX Sports Southwest) that he never viewed things as an either-or situation in regard to Fielder and Hamilton.

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Prince Fielder is close to a nine-year, $214 million deal with the Tigers

From Hardball Talk:

It’s being reported by multiple sources that Prince Fielder is “very close” to a nine-year, $214 million deal with the Detroit Tigers. Tim Brown of Yahoo! had it first.

This is really off-the-wall.  Partially because (a) the Tigers just last week said they weren’t going to go down that road; (b) the Tigers already have an all-world first baseman in Miguel Cabrera and, after this year anyway, a really good DH in Victor Martinez two whom they owe a lot of money through 2014; (c) Prince Fielder doesn’t get along with his dad, and if he goes to Detroit he’s going to get Cecil Fielder questions all the time.

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Rangers’ meeting with Prince Fielder went “extremely well”

Free agent first baseman Prince Fielder has been travelling around the baseball world with his agent, Scott Boras, visiting teams who have expressed interest — mild or serious — in signing him.

The 27-year-old met with Rangers executives on Friday in Dallas, and it apparently went swimmingly.

Here’s the tweet from ESPN’s Jim Bowden:

Rangers president Nolan Ryan told reporters recently that his team’s pursuit of Fielder is in a “very preliminary” stage, but if Bowden’s information is correct, and Texas can afford to fit both Darvish and Fielder into its budget, perhaps negotiations will soon grow more serious. How ’bout this AL West?

Rangers meeting with Prince Fielder in Dallas

From Hardball Talk

Most of the recent reports about Prince Fielder center around various teams not being interested in paying his asking price, but now Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers are meeting with the free agent first baseman at a Dallas hotel today.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is close, but clearly the Rangers’ interest in Fielder is legitimate.

And at this point it’s hard to say that with confidence about any other teams, although the Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Orioles have been linked to Fielder at various times this offseason.

Fielder to Texas would make plenty of sense, because thanks to their new television contract the Rangers have tons of money to spend even if they sign Yu Darvish to a massive deal and they’ve seemingly soured somewhat on Mitch Moreland as the long-term answer at first base. And of course an American League team would enable Fielder to move to designated hitter if needed at some point.

Fielder in that ballpark and in the middle of a lineup that scored 855 runs last season would be scary.

Rangers a possible sleeper to sign All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder


Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder will be one of the biggest off-season prizes during free agency this season and a national baseball writer speculated Saturday that the Rangers could be a “sleeper” team when it comes to landing the power hitter.

Joining the Brewers in the sweepstakes for the 27-year-old will likely be the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals   and St. Louis Cardinals, if they fall short of re-signing their own outstanding first baseman, Albert Pujols.

“Prince Fielder now on a pace for 36 homers, 121 RBI… I wonder about this team as possible sleeper in the Prince market: The Rangers,” Olney tweeted.

Fielder is a three-time All-Star that has hit at least 28 homers in each of his last six seasons. He hit a career-high 50 home runs in 2007 and posted a career-best 141 RBIs in 2009.

The Rangers certainly have plenty of offense on their current roster, and starting pitching seems like the area better suited for an upgrade. But Fielder would be tempting if Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan truly get a shot to add him.

To determine what Fielder could fetch on the open-market, you can start with Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan
, who signed a five-year deal worth $125 million in April of 2010. But reports say that Fielder is seeking a number closer to the $200 million-range.

Who’s hit the longest homeruns so far in MLB?

It’s always interesting to recap who is hitting homeruns in Major League Baseball. The obvious question then, is who has hit the farthest long ball of the year so far?

From MLB:

Today’s game may have few players, if any who haven’t already done it, who can hit as many as Killebrew’s 573 home runs, but there is some killing of baseballs going on still, and some of the culprits are sluggers you’d suspect of delivering the long-distance damage.

“If I had to guess who hit the longest,” said Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, who’s proven to be a perennial long-ball master himself, “I’d say maybe [Mike] Stanton … or Prince. Prince Fielder swings so hard. It’s like the old joke — swing hard in case you hit it. He swings hard, but his eyes are open and he knows what he’s doing. He’s got a lot of power, but he’s a good, smart hitter, not a guy who just swings from his [heels].”

It’s the Brewers’ Fielder who leads the pack with a 486-foot shot hit off Houston’s Brett Myers at Minute Maid Park on April 29, according to Hit Tracker. Upton is second with an April shot at Chase Field estimated to be 478 feet, followed by Howard with a 470-footer at Turner Field, Arizona’s Kelly Johnson with a 466-foot blast at Coors Field earlier this week, and Stanton with a 465-foot blast at Citi Field earlier this month.

Others currently in the top 10 based on the latest technological approach to measuring homers are Upton (464 feet at Arizona), Paul Konerko (462 at Kansas City), and  Alfonso Soriano (461 at Arizona), Nate Schierholtz (461 at Colorado) and, yes, Hunter in a tie for seventh (461 at Kansas City).

The 10 longest home runs of the season, as determined by Hit Tracker.
Prince Fielder, Brewers April 29 at HOU 486
Justin Upton, D-backs April 12 vs. STL 478
Ryan Howard, Phillies May 13 at ATL 470
Kelly Johnson, D-backs May 24 at COL 466
Mike Stanton, Marlins May 16 at NYM 465
Juston Upton, D-backs April 17 at SF 464
Paul Konerko, White Sox April 5 at KC 462
Torii Hunter, Angels March 31 at KC 461
Nate Schierholtz, Giants April 18 at COL 461
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs April 30 at ARI 461

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