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.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.
Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.
“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”
The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).
Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.
Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.
In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.
The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:
Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.
Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.
Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.
He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.