Yesterday Tom Haudricourt said that, after his conversation with Scott Boras, he was never more convinced that Prince Fielder was going to leave Milwaukee via free agency. Today we have the article explaining why, and it comes down to two words: Mark Teixeira. The quotes are all Boras:
“When you have a player that performs like Mark Teixeira, you have to
look at Prince Fielder’s performance in comparison. You
want to know the value of a player? Take a look at it . . . Prince is a home-run hitter. He’s 70 home runs ahead of Teixeira at
that point . . . If you look at Mark Teixeira’s contract, he made the Yankees money. How
many teams would take on Mark Teixeira’s contract? I would say 20. The
reason is it’s good business to do that. Those players are invaluable.”
Mark Teixeira got an eight-year, $180 million contract which started out at $20 million a year and escalates up to $22.5 million a year starting next season and will take him through 2016. Unconfirmed reports had the Brewers offering Fielder $20 million for four or five years.
I know everyone got tired of hearing the “body type” and “aging pattern” arguments when Ryan Howard got his extension, but they apply even more so to Fielder. Boras is big on comps, is he? If I were the Brewers I would challenge him to identify for me one player in the history of baseball as short and as fat as Prince Fielder is who put up top-flight, MVP-type numbers during his age 28-35 seasons.
And no, I won’t accept Babe Ruth unless Boras is willing to really run with that comparison and make the claim that Fielder is the Babe’s equivalent in all aspects of his game. Which, now that I think about it, he might just try to see if he can do it.
Anyway, I think the point to be drawn from all of this is that Milwaukee had best think about trading Fielder pronto.
Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.
It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.
Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.