We keep hearing reports about teams interested in Prince Fielder. Without putting too fine a point on it, however, those reports often seem to come from people who have been said to have Prince Fielder’s agent as a valued source.
Others, however, specifically Ken Rosenthal, are hearing different things. Specifically with respect to the Rangers, who are one team frequently mentioned as having an interest in Fielder:
The Rangers are more focused on trading for a starting pitcher than signing free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder or even pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, according to major league sources.
The team’s payroll flexibility, sources say, is not as significant as many in the industry previously believed. Thus, the Rangers are exploring more cost-effective moves for pitchers such as Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, Athletics lefty Gio Gonzalez and Rays righty Wade Davis.
The key there, Rosenthal says, is that the Rangers big TV deal which often gets cited as the source of new wealth does not kick in until 2015.
Someone is going to sign Prince Fielder. But at the moment that someone doesn’t sound like the Texas Rangers.
The Reds announced on Thursday that the protective netting at Great American Ball Park will be extended to the end of each dugout in time for Opening Day next season. The press release notes that the current netting meets Major League Baseball’s guidelines and the new netting will go beyond those standards.
The netting “debate” came back on Wednesday when a young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have done about the bare minimum in installing protective netting, which rightly earned them criticism. Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius each said yesterday that the netting should be extended. Other teams and Major League Baseball in general received criticism. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, for example, said the relative lack of action on MLB’s part is “morally repugnant.”
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds had already had this idea prior to Wednesday’s incident at Yankee Stadium.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become eligible for free agency after the 2018 season and is likely to get a windfall. The club, however, isn’t expected to pursue trading their star at the hot corner this offseason, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Machado, 25, has been one of baseball’s best players since debuting in 2012. He had a slow start to the 2017 season, seeing his OPS nearly drop below .700 in early July, but a strong second half has made his overall numbers more than respectable. Machado is batting .264/.318/.484 with 32 home runs and 92 RBI in 651 plate appearances while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base.
Just because the Orioles don’t plan to move Machado this offseason doesn’t mean they won’t try to recoup some value ahead of next year’s non-waiver trade deadline. According to Heyman, a person involved with the Orioles said, “It would take us 35 years to find another player like him.”