As has been reported by every outlet short of smoke signal and carrier pigeon over the last thirty minutes, Prince Fielder has finally come off the board, agreeing to a nine-year, $214m contract with the Detroit Tigers. This ought to allow Dodger fans to put the idea of signing Fielder – which was never going to happen, sadly – behind us for good, and resign ourselves to another long, cold year of James Loney and the Fun Bunch. That sounds kind of depressing when you write it like that, but… well, I don’t quite know how to end that sentence.
More importantly, though… holy crap. How does Scott Boras keep doing this? Nine years! Two hundred and fourteen million! Particularly when it’s coming from a team that already has a stud first baseman in Miguel Cabrera and has to deal with $35m more to another 1B/DH type in Victor Martinez, at least after he returns from his knee injury next year. After weeks upon weeks of hearing how the Fielder market was depressed because traditional spenders like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets, and Phillies weren’t involved, Boras goes and pulls this out of his hat. Though many personify Boras as everything that’s wrong with baseball today, I can’t even be angry with him. Frankly, I’m just impressed. The man is simply a wizard.
Back to the Dodgers, well, if this is what it was going to take to secure Fielder, then I’m just as happy to pass. It’s one thing to swallow hard and choke up ~$160m when you’re already paying Matt Kemp and have to deal with Clayton Kershaw (especially when his closest comparable, Tim Lincecum, is extracting $40.5m over two years from the Giants because he hasn’t been locked up yet). It’s quite another to commit nearly $24m per year for nearly a decade to a bad-bodied player when you don’t have the luxury of the designated hitter to shift him to in a few years.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled moping over the Dodger offense, at least until we get further news on the ownership bidding process.