How much is too much for a prince?


With all of the trades and signings that have gone on, it seems that Prince Fielder is starting to get forgotten, so I figured it was a good time to bring his name back into the conversation. First off, just because there isn’t any public chatter about Fielder, doesn’t mean that things aren’t going on behind the scenes. Regardless of which team lands him, the biggest and most important moves that a GM can make are probably done behind closed doors.

Albert Pujols got ten years, $254 million from the Angels a few weeks ago; Scott Boras (also Pujols’ agent) and Prince Fielder are expecting the same kind of deal. While I wouldn’t be overly concerned about this at the moment, MASN’s Amber Theoharis did make a good point in that Fielder’s body type might eventually catch up with him. I suppose that’s possible at some point in the future, and I don’t say that as an indictment of Prince Fielder by any means.

For years the Orioles have been crucified by fans for not being willing to spend money. Most recently, Mark Texeira signed with NY after the O’s reportedly offered him seven years, $150 million. (Whether or not Tex ever truly considered the O’s is another story.) However the businessman in me understands that regardless of the talent and/or potential in a player, there has to be a point where you would walk away from the table if the money spent outweighs the possible benefit. Where that point is for Dan Duquette and Peter Angelos is truly known only to them. If Fielder went to any given team for significantly less than what Pujols got, I’d say that the Orioles probably should have stepped up to the plate a bit more. However if he signed someplace for 8-10 years, $260 or so, I’d have no problem with the O’s walking away.

Regardless of anything, there are people who’ll complain from now until kingdom come if the O’s don’t land Fielder. But please, let’s be reasonable about this. As I said above, there does come a point where it would become too much. Having said that, there would be an almost immediate bump in revenues that would come from signing someone like Prince Fielder. I’m sure that the Orioles would mass produce Fielder jerseys (and jersey t-shirts), and that they’d probably sell immediately like hot cakes. Furthermore, I suspect that ticket sales would see an immediate surge as well. This is not to say that the O’s would immediately start drawing 40K per game, but there would be a bump in attendance at your average home game. This would all be money in the team’s pocket.

Incidentally, Dan Duquette said at the beginning of the winter meetings that he felt the market on Fielder would soften as we went along. While most people were expecting Fielder to sign during the winter meetings like Pujols did, Duquette seemed to know something that the rest of us didn’t. So while people are hanging him out to dry for his actions (or lack thereof), perhaps he knows exactly what he’s doing. I’m not saying that the O’s are going to land Prince Fielder, however they are certainly one of the teams interested. For the record, part of the ballpark updates I wrote about yesterday included the right field wall being lowered…

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