There’s “a 99 percent chance” that the Nationals won’t sign Prince Fielder? Really?

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Poor Prince Fielder. Looks like he’s going to have to go to the unemployment office soon. Maybe look for a job at a Barnes and Noble or something. Because apparently no one wants to sign him.  Here’s Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

There is a “99 percent” chance that the Nationals will not sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, according to a baseball source … The source indicated that Fielder’s price must come down in order for the team to think about acquiring his services. The Nats are not willing to give Fielder anything close to the 10-year, $240 million contract the Angels gave first baseman Albert Pujols.

That first sentence is sexy, but the second sentence suggests that this is all posturing. It means that there is far greater than a 1% chance that Fielder will sign with the Nats.  It merely requires some more negotiating.  For that “99 percent” stuff to have any teeth it would have to be an “under any circumstances” kind of thing.

He’ll sign someplace. Maybe even with the Nats.  All we’re seeing is an expensive guy facing a tough market.  Expect a lot more of this kind of public negotiation as time goes on.

White Sox sign Ervin Santana to minors deal

Ervin Santana
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Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.

The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.

Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.