Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers are already engaging agent Scott Boras in some preliminary discussions about a long-term contract for Prince Fielder.
Fielder, who turns 26 in May, is under team control for two more seasons. As McCalvy aptly points out, there’s no real precedent for Boras to advise one of his clients against testing the open market, but Fielder doesn’t dismiss the notion at all.
“In the end, it’s my decision. But as my agent, he’s
going to make sure that I have the most information possible about
what’s going to benefit me and my family. That’s what it’s about first.
My family has to be happy, and then I go from there. There’s no urgency right now as far as that.”
These sound like some pretty canned remarks, consistent with a player contemplating free agency, but consider that fellow first basemen Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez could also hit the open market after the 2011 season. If all four stay healthy, they’ll attract large contracts from some of the game’s biggest spenders. One or two of them could agree to an extension before hitting free agency, but if they don’t, position scarcity could have a lot to say about where each of them end up. As of now, it figures to be quite a unique offseason.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.