UPDATE: Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Mariners plan to meet with free agent first baseman Prince Fielder tonight.
6:45 p.m. EST update: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik characterized Bowden’s report as “misleading,” MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. But then Zduriencik admitted that he’d “prefer to be low key on any discussion,” suggesting that he wouldn’t be admitting anything even if something were brewing.
4:05 p.m. EST update: ESPN’s Jim Bowden states that the Mariners are now the frontrunners for Fielder, though he offers nothing to back it up (he rarely does).
While Albert Pujols may be poised to get a 10-year contract from the Marlins, the Prince Fielder proposals are proving to be on the shorter side.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden that he won’t go past five years for Fielder, making his bid a long shot.
The Cubs are also interested in a shorter deal. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that Theo Epstein’s club “would pay high dollars in exchange for shorter term.”
The Brewers have yet to completely rule themselves out of the running for Fielder, but a return to Milwaukee is shaping up as very unlikely. Rumored interest from the Orioles and Mariners has yet to produce any known offers, but the market may perk up once Pujols makes his choice.
Fielder, 27, finished third in the NL MVP balloting after hitting .299/.415/.566 with 38 homers and 120 RBI last season. He’s a three-time All-Star who led the NL in homers in 2007 and in RBI in 2009. He’s also played in at least 157 games in each of his six full seasons in the bigs.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they will hold their first Pride Night on August 25th.
A lot of teams have Pride Nights, but it’s worth noting that the Cardinals are holding one given some bad press — some fair, some unfair — they have received in recent years when it comes to matters of diversity and inclusion.
Earlier this month the club received criticism from the LGBT community due to Lance Berkman’s presence for the team’s annual Christian Day, given his past comments about transgender people and his participation in a Houston political campaign over access to public restrooms. Recently, a former Cardinals minor league player claimed he left baseball after enduring anti-gay comments from his coaches and teammates.
As club president Bill DeWitt III noted in the official announcement however, the Cardinals have hosted LGBT groups in the past. He says that the club is eager to “remind fans that everyone is welcome at Busch Stadium.” He notes that the event will raise money for the PrideSTL Scholarship Fund which, in DeWitt’s words, “help courageous students in our community.”
Nice move, Cardinals.
Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.
Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.
Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.