Last week general manager Jon Daniels admitted that Texas was “very unlikely” to sign Prince Fielder and now Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers “believe they are out of the bidding” for the slugging first baseman.
Fielder met with Rangers officials in Dallas earlier this month, but it’s unclear if talks even reached the offer stage and since then Texas spent $112 million on Yu Darvish.
If the Rangers are indeed out of the mix that seemingly makes the Nationals overwhelming favorites to sign Fielder, although based on various reports that’s probably been the case all along.
It’s possible a team like the Orioles could swoop in with a huge offer, but the Marlins, Mariners, Tigers, and now Rangers are said not to be involved and the usual huge-spending teams don’t really have a big need for Fielder even if they badly wanted him. And it doesn’t hurt that the Nationals’ roster is already packed with prominent Scott Boras clients.
UPDATE: So much for the Nationals. Fielders is reportedly headed to the Tigers.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.