It’s still rather shocking to see slugger Prince Fielder still on the free-agent market, but with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring camps in a little more than a month, expect some movement soon on Fielder. And something could happen by January 18. check OUT THIS WEEK'S NFL Picks and NFL Picks for Divisional Games.
Why that date? It’s the deadline for the Texas Rangers to sign Japanese star pitcher Yu Darvish after the Rangers won the bidding price for Darvish. The two sides remain far apart on a contract and Darvish would have to return to Japan if no deal is met by Jan. 18. At a minimum, the Rangers are going to have to spend a total of $110 million or so for Darvish.
If Texas can’t get the pitcher to agree, the Rangers could use that money to go after Fielder – at least that’s what Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, hopes. He needs a big-money team in on the chase because clubs like the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs (who took themselves out of the Fielder derby by trading for top San Diego first-base prospect Anthony Rizzo) aren’t jacking up the price through a bidding war.
Fielder is the highest-profile free agent left on the market, and Boras certainly has a history of taking things down to the wire. In 2009, Boras negotiated with the Dodgers for Manny Ramirez well into Spring Training. The Dodgers didn’t sign the then-free-agent left fielder until March 4. This year, camps don’t open until the week of Feb. 20.
Boras said, though, that he doesn’t expect to have the same problem with Fielder, who has been linked with the Nationals, Marlins and Mariners. Fielder is a .288 lifetime hitter with 230 homers and .920 OPS to show for his seven big league seasons, all with the Brewers. The 27-year-old Fielder, 27, hit .299 with 38 homers and 120 RBIs this past season with the Milwaukee Brewers. This week is going to be our UFC Picks so check out the latest UFC Odds and Sports Odds.
“A March signing?” Boras said. “I think we’ll be able to have some things done before that.”
On the heels of a report that the Nationals were “99 percent” certain not to sign Fielder, the team’s owners met with Fielder’s agent at the owners’ meetings Wednesday evening. And the Nats weren’t the only team to meet with Boras at the owners’ meetings in Arizona. Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was among the others to meet with Boras.
Fielder is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the 10-year, $240 million contract that first baseman Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December. Thus far, teams have balked at the dollars and duration of such a deal for Fielder. Yes, Fielder is younger than Pujols and had a better overall season at the plate a year ago, but Fielder isn’t as good a fielder and there are concerns about his weight. Free NFL Football Picks nd Free Picks.