Obviously a general manager saying misleading things about a big-name free agent shouldn’t be shocking at this point, but with Prince Fielder signing a massive nine-year, $214 million deal with the Tigers today Dave Dombrowski’s comments from just four days ago are pretty interesting.
Dombrowski was asked Friday about the Tigers’ chances of signing Fielder and replied:
Of course we’d consider Prince Fielder, but realistically it’s probably not a good fit. We anticipate Victor Martinez coming back in 2013 and playing at the level he was at last season. I would just say the fit is really not there at this point.
And that seemed to make sense, because the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera at first base and owe Victor Martinez $13 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014. Yet in less than a week Dombrowski went from saying “realistically it’s probably not a good fit” to giving him $214 million to play for the Tigers through 2020.
The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.
Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field. He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.
Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.