By Nathan Petrashek
It’s game show time here at Cream City Cables, and here’s today’s contestant, Prince Fielder. Step right up, Prince, spin the wheel, and let’s see where your baseball destiny lies!
Texas Rangers. I’m sorry, Prince, today just isn’t your day. You see, while the Rangers could certainly use a power-hitting 1B or DH (Mitch Moreland and Michael Young, respectively, will probably fill those roles), today the Rangers announced that they had signed young Japanese righty Yu Darvish for $112MM ($52MM for negotiating rights plus a 6-year, $60MM contract). Rangers GM Josh Daniels was reportedly “cornered” after the press conference, whereupon he announced that a Fielder deal was “unlikely,” adding, “I don’t expect we’ll do anything really big the rest of the winter.”
Seattle Mariners. If you wish, you can reunite here with Jack Zduriencik, the man responsible for your drafting way back in 2002. Unfortunately, those memories of past greatness are probably all you’ll accumulate in Seattle, as the team doesn’t look poised for competition for quite some time with the powerhouse Rangers and Angels in their division. And not only that, the Mariners are said to have money limits (that’s code for “We can’t afford you”), so you’ll have to take less dough to not win. Doesn’t sound like Charlie Sheen would be a fan of this arrangement.
Chicago Cubs. I’m sure you weren’t thrilled to see Theo Epstein’s blockbuster trade involving future 1B Anthony Rizzo. After all, teams don’t usually trade for an major-league ready first baseman prospect just so they can go out and sign a monster deal with a slugger at the same position. Sure, the Cubs might be interested at the right price. But then again, you’d have a lot of suitors if you lowered your demands.
Washington Nationals. Would you like to buy a “W?” Washington seems like a good fit: they’re interested, their close to contending in the NL East, and they’re probably the only team that loves your agent (and by throwing oodles of cash at his clients, I’m sure the feeling is mutual). But word is they only want to go six years, possibly seven, a few shy of what you were looking for. And what would Washington be without a little political intrigue? The Nationals were closely watching the Darvish deal; now that another suitor has dropped out, the Nats know they hold all the cards. Prepare for a tough negotiation here, Prince.
Well, Prince, the wheel is just about done spinning and the big black tile is headed your way. You could have solved the puzzle; the Brewers dangled that 6-year, $120 million contract in front of you a few years ago, but you didn’t want any part of that. And who could blame you; that $200 million space seemed so big, just tempting you to spin again. But now that the megadeal contract you’ve not-so-subtly yearned for (Remember when you changed your at-bat music to Pink Floyd’s “Money?”) doesn’t seem to be materializing, if you could do it all over again, would you trade the comfort the Brewers offered for this agonizing waiting game?