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Mets, Yankees Chances to Sign Prince Fielder: The Next $200 Million Man?

Could Prince Fielder be the next $200 million man? (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

There are two contracts that ruined smaller market teams’ chances of re-signing their stars, the 10-year $252 million contract Alex Rodriguez got from the Yankees in 2007 and the $125 million, 5-year extension Ryan Howard received last season. This is largely the precedent for which power-hitting first baseman Prince Fielder is going by this off-season. Prince Fielder has indicated that he wants an 8-year, $200 million contract, matching the $25 million per year of Howard and becoming the new $200 million man-of course fellow first baseman Albert Pujols can match also match or exceed both totals. The advantage Fielder has over Pujols, who is 31, Howard and Rodriguez is the timing of his free agency. Fielder, at just 27, is entering what many people consider to be the peak years of his production, his prime. When Howard signed his $125 million extension, he was turning 30, and when Rodriguez signed, he was 32. What are the Mets and Yankees chances of signing Fielder and where does he ultimately end up?

The Mets

It’s been well documented that the Wilpons lost a ton of money in the Bernie Madoff scandal, which makes the acquisition of Fielder unlikely for the Mets. GM Sandy Alderson has made it clear that the Mets intend to cut payroll this off-season. In addition, re-signing Jose Reyes is priority #1 for the Mets. Reyes is likely to command at least $15 million (minimum) annually and the Mets simply don’t have the funds to sign both Reyes and Fielder.

If the Mets don’t sign Reyes, could they possibly sign Fielder? The Mets may entertain the idea of signing Fielder, if for nothing more than as a ploy to show their fans they’re serious about winning, but ultimately, I think Ike Davis has shown enough with his bat and glove at first for the Mets to be content with as their future first baseman. Davis will never be Fielder, but his contributions will come for roughly $24.5 million less.

The Yankees

The big question for the Yankees is the possibility of Fielder signing in the Bronx to DH full time. Would he be willing to do so? With perennial Gold Glove contender Mark Teixeira locked up for the next five years, it’s hard to see Prince displacing Tex at first. DHing full time is a lot harder than people think (look at the struggles of Adam Dunn, and Jorge Posada this year). Not only is it hard, it’s not something many players enjoy. Could the Yankees offer Fielder the most money? Yes. Would that guarantee that he signs for them? Unless they guarantee that he plays first base every day, no. Besides, the Yankees have to re-sign CC Sabathia this off season and probably find another starter. Even with the Yankees’ deep pockets, there’s still only so much money to be had. Fielder to the Yankees, don’t bet on it. There’s a better chance of the Yankees signing Pujols to play 1B/3B.

He’s staying put

I believe Fielder ultimately ends up right where he is now, in Milwaukee. With a deep run in the playoffs, which I believe they are well-positioned to do, the Brewers can hope that Fielder would take a hometown discount (if you could call it such).  The truth is, first base is so deep right now in the majors and almost every big market club has a good enough first baseman that a move for Fielder might not make sense financially. The shortlist of realistic contenders for Fielder are probably the Cubs, the Rangers, the Orioles, the Nationals-if they want to experiment with Morse in the outfield again- and the Brewers. Still, with All-Stars Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Yovani Gallardo, and Zach Greinke looked up for the next couple of years, the Brewers have enough to convince Fielder to stay. My guess is for 8 years, $184 million.

About A Lee

I'm as happy as the Mets, Knicks, Lions, and Devils allow me to be.

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One comment for “Mets, Yankees Chances to Sign Prince Fielder: The Next $200 Million Man?”

  1. New Post: Mets, Yankees Chances to Sign Prince Fielder: The Next $200 Million Man?

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 30, 2011, 11:42 pm

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