|Is Prince Fielder the left handed anchor to their lineup the M's have been waiting for? Is he worth $250 million for ten years?|
Do you do it? Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times says yes. The M's have the money to spend on Fielder and make the team better at other positions. I'm not quite sure how the money works out, but maybe they do. He is confident those opposing a Fielder signing are simply shell-shocked from past free-agent failures, bad signings in the first place, and are willing to accept mediocrity from their home town team.
Dave Cameron at USS Mariner has a different take. The Fielder deal is simply too expensive for what you get. Further, according to Cameron, the Mariners aren't cheap, they're just stupid, having made a plethora of bad deals since Bill Bavasi's hire as GM in 2003, which they are still crawling away from.
I confess, I am more in the Cameron camp than with Baker. If the M's want to make a splash signing Prince Fielder fine, it's not my money (but they better not raise ticket prices dammit!) He's one guy in a position that is fairly easy to fill with a serviceable bat at a cheaper cost. David Ortiz would do fine at Safeco and cost a lot less.
What really troubles me are those years. If we were talking $25 million for five years, I'd say yes, snap it up. But ten years, really? I know Fielder is a vegetarian and takes care of himself, but he's a big man. Every time I think of him I think of Mo Vaughn, another big guy, another hitting prodigy, a MVP, who ended up broken early in his career. And Fielder is 50 pounds heavier than Vaughn. The risk of injury over ten years is simply too great leaving aside questions about Prince's girth. We would have said the same thing about Grady Sizemore a few years ago. A Seattle guy, great glove and bat. He could have been our center fielder for a decade, right? We'd be zillions in the hole and Sizemore would be in rehab.
|Grady Sizemore would have been a great fit in Seattle, with his defense and bat--three years ago. What we'd signed him to a ten year deal?|
|Adrian Beltre was a good guy and a great defender, but never the hitter we hoped he'd be. It was time for him to leave after four years|
Finally, do you really want to be paying $25 million a year to any player when they are 38 years old? The entire planet is all over Ichiro Suzuki at 38, struggling to live up to his career numbers making $18 million per year. What makes a Fielder signing any more palatable? What makes us think he'll continue to hit 35-40 home runs per year well into his decline phase? And what will be saying in 2022 when we are looking back on this deal? How stupid will Mariners management look then?