Most of the recent reports about Prince Fielder center around various teams not being interested in paying his asking price, but now Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers are meeting with the free agent first baseman at a Dallas hotel today.
That doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is close, but clearly the Rangers’ interest in Fielder is legitimate.
And at this point it’s hard to say that with confidence about any other teams, although the Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Orioles have been linked to Fielder at various times this offseason.
Fielder to Texas would make plenty of sense, because thanks to their new television contract the Rangers have tons of money to spend even if they sign Yu Darvish to a massive deal and they’ve seemingly soured somewhat on Mitch Moreland as the long-term answer at first base. And of course an American League team would enable Fielder to move to designated hitter if needed at some point.
Fielder in that ballpark and in the middle of a lineup that scored 855 runs last season would be scary.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.
Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.
Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”
Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.
Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.