- Scott Boras worked his magic once again as Prince Fielder signed with the Detroit Tigers yesterday afternoon for 9 years at $214M. It was the popular belief that the Nationals held the pole position as of yesterday morning and that the Rangers were out due to the demand of more than 5 years. All along, there has been a mystery team…and the mystery team won. Again.
Full details of the contact haven’t been released yet. One would speculate that there is some sort of club option and trade clause built into the deal, but we’ll have to wait.
- With Prince officially off the market now, the Rangers will shift their focus to the contract needs of their existing core, most notably Josh Hamilton.
According to T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com), “The Rangers’ biggest priority right now is outfielder Josh Hamilton, who can be a free agent after this upcoming season. The club is actively working with his agent, Michael Moye, on a possible contract extension that would prevent him from leaving, but an agreement does not appear imminent.”
- Beyond Hamilton, the Rangers are expected to start or return to talks with Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis, with Holland being the only one of the five that the Rangers have under control beyond 2012.
- Relief Pitcher Koji Uehara rejected a trade to the Toronto Blue Jays, which was one of the teams on his no-trade list. The Blue Jays didn’t hesitate to move forward by signing Francisco Cordero to a 1 year/$4.5M contract to help fill the set-up role in their bullpen.
Baltimore is still a likely trade partner for the Rangers with Uehara, Gerry Fraley (SportsDayDFW) reports “Baltimore remains interested in Uehara, who kept his home in the area after the Orioles sent him to the Rangers last summer.”
- Alden Gonzalez (MLB.com) wrote a good piece on the escalating rivalry between the Rangers and Angels. Gonzalez calls out the current off-season, saying “The rivalry reached a fever pitch during the offseason, in the comfort of air-conditioned offices and through the art of savvy business. The Angels and new general manager Jerry Dipoto — seeking a surge after back-to-back playoff absences — struck gold on Dec. 8, spending nearly $330 million to sign the best hitter of this era, Albert Pujols, and steal former Rangers ace C.J. Wilson. Then came the Rangers — eager to maintain their standing as back-to-back division and league champs — committing more than $110 million to pluck the heralded Yu Darvish out of Japan.”
- After reading that, I stand up and emphatically yell “Can’t wait!” in my best Bart Scott impersonation.
- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of more than ten bidders for ownership of the L.A. Dodgers. While current owner Frank McCourt expects to get in the neighborhood of $1.5B for the club, Cuban went on record last year saying he would not bid more than $1B, saying “I don’t think the Dodgers franchise is worth twice what the [Texas] Rangers are worth.”
- The Giants and Tim Lincecum (aka Jim Likelakeum; see below for Lincecum’s greatest moment) agreed to a 2-year/$40M.