There has been increasing talk about the Rangers being interested in Prince Fielder. Today Richard Justice of MLB.com has a column talking about the ins-and-outs of that. Particularly what it would mean for Josh Hamilton:
Fielder’s signing would come at a time when Hamilton is approaching the final year of his contract. Last week, Hamilton said he would cut off negotiations if he’s not signed by the start of Spring Training … Hamilton would have to wonder if the Rangers have enough money to keep him AND Fielder. He might also wonder if the Rangers are choosing to sign Fielder instead of him.
Let’s say they can’t have them both, at least beyond 2012. Personally, I’m having trouble seeing that as a problem. Call me crazy, but wouldn’t you much rather have Prince Fielder around than Josh Hamilton going forward? Hamilton is fragile and is no longer a center fielder. Fielder is the much better hitter. At least if you don’t assume that 2010 is the norm for Hamilton rather than the absolute peak.
If they can afford Darvish, Fielder and Hamilton for one year, they should do it and let Hamilton dangle when he’s a free agent in 2012. That’s what I’d do.
UPDATE: That’s what Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs would do too.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.