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There’s “a 99 percent chance” that the Nationals won’t sign Prince Fielder? Really?

Jan 11, 2012, 3:50 PM EDT

National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix Reuters

Poor Prince Fielder. Looks like he’s going to have to go to the unemployment office soon. Maybe look for a job at a Barnes and Noble or something. Because apparently no one wants to sign him.  Here’s Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

There is a “99 percent” chance that the Nationals will not sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, according to a baseball source … The source indicated that Fielder’s price must come down in order for the team to think about acquiring his services. The Nats are not willing to give Fielder anything close to the 10-year, $240 million contract the Angels gave first baseman Albert Pujols.

That first sentence is sexy, but the second sentence suggests that this is all posturing. It means that there is far greater than a 1% chance that Fielder will sign with the Nats.  It merely requires some more negotiating.  For that “99 percent” stuff to have any teeth it would have to be an “under any circumstances” kind of thing.

He’ll sign someplace. Maybe even with the Nats.  All we’re seeing is an expensive guy facing a tough market.  Expect a lot more of this kind of public negotiation as time goes on.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    The Rangers are a long-shot, the Mariners aren’t at much better odds – what real competitor would Washington have? This is ludicrous. Both sides are just playing some old-fashioned Scott Boras Waiting Game. Who blinks first?

    • Chris St. John - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Only other team I can think of right now is the Blue Jays. Adding Fielder to their lineup would give them a great shot at at least a wild card next year.

      • Chris St. John - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Come to think of it…maybe the Blue Jays are waiting to see if the second wild card is added?

      • natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        Are the Jays the Mystery Team?

      • cur68 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        1 big problem with the Beaver Men: they likely won’t pay Fielder more than they pay Bautista. No reason to irritate the best hitter in baseball by paying him less than a guy half again his size with less production by the same proportion. Fielder’s price drops below Bautista’s then maybe Boras gets over looked and something happens. Also I’ve read here on HBT that Scott Boras himself seems to be a pretty big problem: the Blue Jays FO do not like him at all.

      • Ace - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Apparently no MLB teams are left in contention. Could the mystery team be the Hanshin Tigers?

      • missthemexpos - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        Great idea Ace, maybe play in Japan for one year, hit a whole bunch of home runs then go on the open market again next winter.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        Dorn: I didn’t sell him outright! I got you an outfielder from the Giants!
        Lou: Franklin?
        Dorn: Not those Giants…

      • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:57 AM

        Fielder giving the Jays a great shot at the Wild Card? I just don’t see it. Last year, the Yankees and Red Sox both scored over 120 more runs than the Jays. Fielder wouldn’t be enough to shift that balance. And their pitching will most likely be weak, though they do have some young guys with potential.

    • mikeyrivs23 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      This is the sweetest game of Chicken I have ever seen. I want the Nats to sign him, but I’m enjoying the drama just as much as if/when they finally pull the trigger.

    • Old Gator - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      I can just see the Porcine Prince playing for the Tigers as a day job and sumo wrestling on his off days.

  2. sjs1959 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    He might get close to what he wants on a per-year basis, but he won’t get beyond a 5-year deal, tops.

  3. sumerduckman - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Maybe his price would rise if his weight would fall. Shed some of those pounds, employment would happen.

  4. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    I think the Red ought to sign him to a 1 yr./8.5 million dollar contract and have him come off the bench as a pinch hitter.

  5. kurtstallings - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    With that swing of his, he’d make a fine lumberjack.

    His smartest intermediate range maneuver might be to sign a very short deal, jack some numbers, and look to cash in if and when the economy turns around.

  6. superpriebe - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    A lot has been made about how there is not much of a market for Prince. However, I think we’re going to see him get paid impressively. Rumors of the Boras demise are being exaggerated.

    • skids003 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      I’m surprised Boras hasn’t thrown the “collusion” card.

  7. shaggytoodle - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    He would be happiest in Milwaukee.

    • nategearhart - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      What makes you say that?

      • shaggytoodle - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        I believe he genuinly likes it there, and the team has improved and show they put effort into making the team into a winner, they did go all in for what was his last year under contract. Which is part of the reason they haven’t spent much this year. I think of the teams in the market for a 1B they are the most competitive.

      • skipperxc - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        Too bad they don’t have anywhere near the money left to pay him. Between Aramis Ramirez and K-Rod, there’s just no way. Which is a shame, I’d have loved to have him back.

  8. natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Of course it’s posturing. Ladson is carrying a message from Rizzo to Boras. Same message Boras got on Madson — the market won’t support your contract demands. At this point, Boras can wait and hope the Rangers don’t sign Yu Darvish. Or, he can settle for something short-term, as happened with Madson. If the latter happens, then returning to the Brewers could be an option.

    • shawndc04 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      The problem with going back to the Brewers is that they’ve just committed 36 million to Aramis. I wonder how much they have left in the tank.

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:18 AM

      Fielder is not going to end up with a one year deal like Madson. The demand for elite sluggers is much stronger than for good closers. Lots of other teams will come into the mix if his price drops even moderately.

  9. southpaw2k - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Jim Carrey’s line from Dumb and Dumber comes to mind here….

    “So you’re telling me there’s a CHANCE…YES!!!”

  10. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I wonder if Washington insists on having a clause that makes him keep his shirt tucked in. Hehe.

  11. shawndc04 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Well the headline to Ladson’s story includes “at current price.” Of course no one is going to sign him to a 10 year 240 million dollar contract; that makes no sense for an AL team, and even less for an NL club. When he lowers his demand for length to 5 or 6, he’ll get signed, and possibly by the Nationals.

  12. lewp - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I have a conspiracy theory here.

    Let’s say the Rangers have told Fielder they want to sign him, but the Rangers have to see what Yu Darvish will bring…then after that is completed, the Rangers will sign Fielder at X amount..That way, the Rangers can know going in they can tell Yu they have other big leagers waiting in line….

    Ok, maybe that was just wishful thinking from a Rangers fan.

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:08 AM

      Conspiracies usually have a point, or at least make sense on some level. Why not just sign Fielder, then tell Darvish “Look who we just signed!”

      • paperlions - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:15 AM

        Yeah, because guys regularly sign for less money because of the quality of the club they are signing with…..guys regularly say that they want to be on a competitive team first and foremost, but that is nearly always just talk…and they can usually convince themselves that the team is on the verge of contending, even if it isn’t.

  13. b7p19 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    So your saying theres a chance?

  14. knicks4life - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    This guy isn’t worth that much he’s almost over weight

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:02 AM

      And yet somehow–perhaps through sheer dumb luck–he has managed to be one of the best hitters in baseball for a half dozen years, slugging 230 home runs in the process.

  15. Stiller43 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    The buccos need a 1st baseman.

    Im sure they the cheap p.o.s. Huntington would throw about 40k plus benefits your way!!

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      Dude, make sense and try again.

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 5:59 AM

      Hey yinzer, maybe Ben Roethlisberger can play first base. That would solve two problems.

  16. benandjerrysberryhorny - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    The best this guy is getting is in the ballpark of 5 year/100 mil and he should be happy to get that. Let’s face it, his weight truly is an issue whether you want to admit it or not. Who the hell wants a 35 year old 300 lb guy making 20+ mil. There is always the chance of him being able to slim down in the future but there is always the chance that he gets even bigger. Boras is making Prince look like a fool right now.

  17. muskyhunter2542 - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    He is going back to The Brewers for 1 more year… Book it!!!

    • orangeflh - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      If you ever type “book it” again, I hope Carp is all you catch for the rest of your life.

  18. natsattack - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Why not create a contract say at 5 years/100mil, with 1 vesting option if he makes it to 200lb, 2 years if 175lb, 3 years if at 150lb? Actually, 150 is a bit unrealistic, but the idea is the same.

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:05 AM

      There actually is precedent for that. I believe one of David Wells’ contracts had a similar clause.

    • paperlions - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:17 AM

      No one wants a Prince Fielder under 200 lbs hitting for them….they’d just like him to get down to 220…hell, 250.

  19. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    It seems Prince and Scott have drastically overplayed their hand so far. I’m sad to see it because after watching Prince for 6 years he is a decent guy by all accounts. As for Boras, couldn’t happen to a nicer a-hole.

  20. brewcitybummer - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    I don’t think these short term theories hold water. Prince is not a consistent player. The risk of signing a one year deal and retesting the market next year is far greater than you guys are implying. It truly is in his best interest to take Max contract value now even if it ends up in the $100 mil range. Does anyone really think he couldn’t ink a 5 year 100 mil deal tonight?

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      A 5 year $100 million deal tonight, yeah I think he could get that tonight. And the part about Prince not being consistent, well I just don’t know how you can say that.

      • brewcitybummer - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        He is 1 season removed from hitting. 261 with a 2.7 WAR. When you look at his 6 seasons you have to say his numbers have alternated between good and elite. Maybe he should get 25 mil a year in odd number years and 15 mil a year in even number years.

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