Prince Fielder

Nolan Ryan: talks with Prince Fielder are “very preliminary”

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The Rangers met with Prince Fielder yesterday.  Exciting!  Maybe not too exciting, though.  “Keep your shirt on,” Nolan Ryan says:

Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan describes the team’s discussions with free agent slugger Prince Fielder as “very preliminary” … During a question-and-answer session with fans at the team’s annual winter FanFest, Ryan said the meeting Friday was to try to get a true feel for what Fielder and Boras are thinking.

Hmm, wonder what Boras and Fielder are thinking?  I’ll give you three choices:

A)  “We would like an incentive-laden, short-term deal with a low base salary because we are fully aware of the risks inherent in any free agent signing and wish to put your mind at ease.”

B) “Look, this is all so complicated and subjective. Why don’t you tell us what you think Prince is worth.” or

C) Pay us pay us pay us pays us pay us pay us pay us pay us pay us.

At least I think those are all of the possibilities. Maybe they just wanted to see if the Rangers had Mavericks tickets they could use. I dunno.

Red Sox could go to arbitration hearing with Fernando Abad

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Fernando Abad #58 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Fenway Park on September 16, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.

Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.

While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.