• Want Some Prince Fielder Chatter? Well You're Getting It Anyway...
In ESPN.com's Buster Olney's daily post this morning he links to an article on the Dallas Morning News' blog which transcribes an interview with Dallas Morning News' baseball writer Evan Grant, with Mr. Olney writing, "Prince Fielder has made it clear he wants to be with the Texas Rangers." In the article, which is entitled, "Grant: Prince Fielder has made it 'very clear' he wants to be with Rangers", Mr. Grant says, "it’s very, very clear that this is where [Prince] wants to be," but it's also clear that the writer is simply offering his own opinion on the situation based on the reporting he's done and what he's heard. Since Prince hasn't yet signed, it's likely that the contract he's looking for hasn't been offered yet, the writer suggests, and he's quoted stating that, "... It appears that he and Scott Boras have been waiting all along for the Rangers to get their Darvish situation settled so they could get down to brass tacks between Prince and the Rangers."
At the same time, however MLB.com writer T.R. Sullivan's writing, in an article entitled, "If Texas signs Darvish, adding Fielder unlikely", that, "If the Rangers get Darvish's deal done as expected, they are not expecting to sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder." According to the MLB.com beat writer, in spite of what former D.C. GM and current MLB Network Radio host Jim Bowden said recently on Twitter about the Rangers being able to afford both Darvish and Fielder, "... club officials continued to stress that the Rangers don't plan on signing both Darvish and Fielder."
FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi's sources too are telling him, as he writes this afternoon in an article entitled, "Rangers' revival gaining more steam", that, "Rangers officials have downplayed their chances of landing both Darvish and Fielder, 'barring something changing,' in the words of one source," or, likely, barring something "extraordinary" or "out of the ordinary" as D.C. GM Mike Rizzo said when asked about the Nationals' chances of signing Fielder earlier this winter. Mr. Morosi goes on to explain how the Rangers have managed to build a strong, highly-regarded farm system and raise their national profile in recent seasons with a lucrative tv deal and playoff revenue, and how, "Nearly 3 million fans came to Rangers Ballpark last year." In other words, they're exactly where the Nationals want to be...
And exactly where Fielder's agent Scott Boras told FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi's colleague Ken Rosenthal he was trying to convince owners of interested teams his big slugging client could take them. In a 12/29/11 article entitled, "Boras taking his time with Fielder deal", the super agent told the bow-tied FOXSports.com reporter he was telling teams to look at the history:
"'When Prince Fielder came to Milwaukee, check out the first year, what they were drawing,' Boras said. 'Then, when you see that number (2.21 million), see what they’re drawing now in Milwaukee (3.07 million). And they’ve also got a new (local) TV contract . . . Look at where the franchise was then, and where it is now.'"
In addition to making the team more competitive, Fielder can draw talent to a franchise, or convince other players to stay a part of something special he can help a team build. "'(A player like Fielder) gets you the (local) TV contract, he gets you a higher franchise value, your attendance goes up . . . These players pay for themselves. They make you a lot of money. Owners understand that,'" Boras said. Surely, the Nationals owners know just how much Prince Fielder could mean to their franchise, and what he might cost them in terms of salary and roster maneuverability as they go forward and have to pay for homegrown talent like Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and others. Now it's up to the Rangers to decide if Fielder's worth more to them than what Washington or any other team that remains interested is willing to offer the 27-year-old, 5'11'', 275lb slugger.