Monday, December 5, 2011

Prince Fielder's Premium Price


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Are the Toronto Blue Jays in on Prince Fielder? Are they not in on Prince Fielder? After what happened on the weekend, I'm a little confused.

The initial "report" out of Cleveland saying the Blue Jays were the frontrunners to land Fielder seemed a little odd to me. Why would an Indians beat writer have the scoop on what the Blue Jays were doing? Unless of course it's Jordan Bastian ... former super Blue Jays beat man.

Then of course it seems like Alex Anthopoulos is adamantly denying any reports. Which makes sense because from the very beginning AA said they were not looking to make any big splashes in the free agent waters this off-season.

Even though my brain tells me the Blue Jays want no part of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, my inner fanboy is teaming with excitement that Fielder in Toronto might be a faint possibility.

And this is exactly why I think folks on the outside looking in believe the Blue Jays are one of the best fits out there for Prince Fielder; ramping up the payroll is not an issue with Toronto, and he Blue Jays have a need for Fielder.

With the new Blue Jays regime spearheaded by Alex Anthopoulos, I feel like I've been conditioned to detest signing any free agent to a long-term contract. Locking up Jose Bautista was one thing, but paying for Prince Fielder is another.

Players of Prince Fielder's calibre will unquestionably come at a premium price, but the question Alex Anthopoulos and the rest of the Blue Jays front office have to ask themselves is "is it worth it?".

If the Blue Jays truly feel like they have all their ducks in a row and are very close, then by all means they should go for it. Somebody like Fielder doesn't come around very often, and if he's the final piece of the puzzle then it definitely makes sense.

I can't speak on behalf of the organization, but I'd think it's safe to say they aren't quite there yet. One could argue that starting pitching is actually more of a question mark than offense for the Blue Jays, and the team should be looking to upgrade and develop their pitchers further.

While it would be great to get Prince Fielder at his peak with a 5-6 WAR season for the next few years, if the starting pitching continues to be a concern than it will be all for not. I think the team needs to get that in order first before adding any additional pieces.

It's like going to the Pizza Hut buffet and just piling up your plate with breadsticks; sure, the breadsticks are tasty and you could probably eat a million of them, but you need to balance out the plate to have a proper meal. Throw a couple slices of pizza and some salad on there too to even things out.

And now suddenly I have a craving for the Pizza Hut buffet. 

6 comments:

  1. Two things:

    1. Adding wins through the offense accomplishes the same thing as adding wins through the pitching. And who says you would stop with Fielder if you happened to sign him?

    2. I've decided to order Pizza Hut for lunch today.

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  2. While it is true that the team isn't quite "there" yet, in terms of competing, the problem that arises is this:

    When they do get "there", will a player of Fielder's calibre be available to put them over the top? And if so, what will the asking price be (trade, FA $$$, etc)?

    If management believes the team can be a playoff team in the next season or two, going after Fielder now -- getting that star pre-emptively -- isn't a bad idea. Better than getting to a point where they feel they need just that one more power swing and the only option is the trade route.

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  3. I don't see anywhere that AA is suggesting they aren't going after Fielder, his comment only identify that they aren't willing to give any players 10 year contracts (at least from what I've read).

    So who's to say the Jays haven't offered him a 5 year deal for $100 million or so? And given the current market, maybe this is the best offer he gets?

    Although this could be just me grasping at straws.

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  4. Fullmer Fan, I think a signing of Fielder and Darvish (while it would be a crapload of money) would definitely even things out. And good choice on the lunch front!

    Anon, I can only imagine what it's like from the GM's perspective - do they wait to get close and THEN go sign a big name free agent to put them over the top, or do they get them now and hope it gives them that added boost?

    The benefit of turning into a contender is it allows the Blue Jays to become a destination for free agents, but the hard part is getting there first.

    Peter, and a 5-year deal at $100 million doesn't seem all that unreasonable on offer to table to Fielder. It's not the dollar amount that would scare me, it's the duration.

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  5. Why does the expensive great player need to be the last piece? Why not grab Fielder now, while he's out there. Then you can add the other pieces you need. Don't add all the other pieces, and then hope there's another Fielder out there when you're ready.

    You mean I can't just eat the breadsticks?

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  6. Section 36, the one positive side affect of adding pieces later is you can get them for shorter term deals (which actually might be a downside, depending on the player).

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