Prince Fielder is looking for a Mark Teixeira deal

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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.

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.