This weekend the Brewers were in St. Louis to play the Cardinals, so the local writers asked Prince Fielder what he thinks about fellow impending free agent first baseman Albert Pujols.
Fielder naturally is in favor of Pujols breaking the bank, telling Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he “should command it all” in his next deal because “it’s not crazy if someone decides to pay it.”
Obviously he’s not alone in thinking Pujols’s next contract should be a massive one, but aside from Pujols and his agent Fielder might be in position to benefit most from the Cardinals first baseman signing a massive deal.
Fielder isn’t Pujols, but he’s still awfully good and he could emerge as a very expensive fallback plan for teams that fail to land their No. 1 target, at which point he can point to Pujols’ gigantic contract and say, “I’ll take 75 percent of what he got.” Or so Fielder and his agent are probably hoping.
Fielder told Goold that, unlike Pujols, he’s not completely against the idea of in-season contract talks with the Brewers before he hits the open market, but he doesn’t expect that to happen and indicated that he’ll be looking for a seven-year deal as a free agent.
1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.
Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:
“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’
Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.
I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.
The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.
Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.
Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:
It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”
At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.
I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .