Tag:Prince Fielder
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:09 am
  •  
 

Prince on Braun: 'It's great news'

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Prince Fielder's reaction to the Ryan Braun decision?

"It's great," Fielder said Friday morning at the Tigers' spring training camp. "It's great news."

Fielder and Braun were teammates for the last five years with the Brewers, but they're not close friends. Still, Fielder retains strong feelings for the Brewers, saying Thursday that he would like to see them go to the World Series, "and then lose to us."

Fielder said he hadn't spoken to Braun this winter, and hadn't closely followed the case.

"I have a life, too," he said. "I was trying to get a job there, for a while."

As to the question of whether Thursday's ruling should be enough to clear Braun's name, Fielder offered no real opinion.

"I don't know," he said. "Obviously, it says he's not guilty. He says he was innocent, so that's what it was."

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:57 pm
 

Victor Martinez has surgery, out for all 2012

The Tigers already expected Victor Martinez to miss the 2012 season.

Now it's definite.

Martinez underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee on Friday, the team announced Monday. And that was simply preparation for an ACL reconstruction surgery that he will undergo sometime in the next 6-8 weeks.

At one point, the Tigers thought there was some chance Martinez could return in time for the playoffs, if they make it there. But the decision to have the microfracture surgery before the ACL surgery rules that out.

Martinez should still be able to return without trouble in 2013. In fact, the extra surgery could repair some wear-and-tear damage to the knee, and even make him stronger when he comes back.

The Tigers have insurance on Martinez's contract, which means they will recoup much of the $13 million Martinez is due this year. Of course, Martinez's injury spurred the Tigers to spend that money and more to sign Prince Fielder last week.
   

Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:01 pm
 

What's next for Tigers? Maybe Cespedes


The Prince Fielder signing should push the Tigers' 2012 payroll up over $130 million.

Is there any money left?

Could be, but the Tigers are unlikely to spend it on a full-time designated hitter, or on a fifth-starter candidate who would require a guaranteed major-league contract.

They might, according to sources, still try to spend it on Yoenis Cespedes.

While the team has basically ruled out going after someone like Johnny Damon or Edwin Jackson, the Tigers remain interested in Cespedes, the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder who became a free agent Wednesday. The Tigers have been among the teams showing the most interest in Cespedes, and have had conversations about him with agent Adam Katz.

Cespedes, if he proves ready for the big leagues right away, could play left field, with Delmon Young moving to more of a full-time DH role. For now, the Tigers plan to have Young share left field and DH with Andy Dirks, Don Kelly and Clete Thomas, with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera also seeing a few days as DH.

The Tigers had worked hard to try to add another starter before turning their attention to Fielder late last week. They met Roy Oswalt's asking price, sources said, only to be told by Oswalt that he wouldn't agree to come to Detroit (even after a recruiting phone call from Justin Verlander).

The focus now is on veteran starters who would require less of a commitment, with the possibility that the Tigers don't add anyone before spring training begins. They could then audition Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver, Drew Smyly and others, and then search the trade market if they're not satisfied with what they see.

We've already seen that they're willing to be bold, and that the owner is willing to spend.

When Mike Ilitch told his baseball people that he was willing to make the huge commitment to Fielder, he explained it simply.

"I think the city needs it," Ilitch said. "I think we need it. I think our players need it."


Posted on: January 24, 2012 5:46 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 7:14 pm
 

For Prince, going to Tigers is like going home

You could almost say that Prince Fielder is going home.

He was born in California. He went to high school in Florida. He came to the big leagues in Milwaukee.

But for a few of his formative years, Detroit was home. Tiger Stadium was home. The Tiger clubhouse was home.

And now he's going back, going to join the Tigers on a nine-year, $214 million contract.

I know that things got ugly later between Prince and his father Cecil, who played for the Tigers from 1990-96. I know that while Cecil told MLB Network Radio Tuesday that he is "having a few chats" and "doing a lot better" with Prince, he was also shocked to hear that the Tigers were Prince's new team.

But I also know that Prince looks back fondly on those years, on wrestling with Tony Phillips in the Tiger clubhouse, on hitting a home run into the upper deck at Tiger Stadium.

For anyone who was around the Tigers in those years (as I was), Prince was a constant and welcome presence, a well-behaved young man having the time of his young life.

Cecil was a star then. When he hit 51 home runs in 1990, it was a big deal, because no one had hit 50 in the big leagues since George Foster in 1978.

Prince was a big figure in town, big enough that the Detroit Free Press did a story on his life in Little League.

It was about that time that Mike Ilitch bought the Tigers from fellow pizza baron Tom Monaghan.

Ilitch certainly remembers Prince from those days.

"I know Mr. Ilitch is probably excited, because he's wanted that kid since he was a little kid," Cecil Fielder told MLB Network Radio. "So he finally got his wish."

And now Prince is back in Detroit, back home.

"It's a real small world, isn't it?" Phillips said Tuesday. "This is awesome. But I don't think I'd want to wrestle him now. He'd be body-slamming me to the ground."

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:09 pm
 

As Brewers move on, Cubs, Mariners look at Prince

With Monday's signing of Aramis Ramirez, the Brewers seem to have moved on from Prince Fielder.

But where will Fielder move on to?

The Cubs and Mariners are both in on the Fielder market, new CBSSports.com colleague Jon Heyman reported Monday. The Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins, Orioles and Nationals, among others, could also be interested.

Fielder could be a particularly good fit in Chicago, especially with Dale Sveum as the new Cubs manager. Sveum was the Brewers hitting coach, and has a very good relationship with Fielder.

When Theo Epstein came over from the Red Sox to run the Cubs baseball operations, the thought was that he would stay away from high-priced free agents this winter, because the rebuilding process at Wrigley Field is expected to take several years.

But Fielder is just 27, young enough to fit into a long-term plan. Also, new rules that limit spending on draft and international signings leave the Cubs unable to speed up the process by outspending other teams on those markets.

The Mariners desperately need offense, and Fielder has long been considered a possibility. Like Sveum, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik has ties to Fielder. Zduriencik was the scouting director who drafted Fielder for the Brewers.

The thought among many in baseball, though, has been that Seattle won't be Fielder's preferred landing spot. It's as far as possible from his Florida home, the Mariners are unlikely to contend, and Safeco Field isn't friendly to power hitters.

The Rangers, with a team that has gone to the World Series two straight years and a ballpark that favors hitters, would no doubt be an attractive destination. But club president Nolan Ryan has played down any interest, insisting that he likes first baseman Mitch Moreland and that Fielder would be a difficult fit in the Rangers' budget.

The Blue Jays will eventually need to play on free agents like Fielder if they're as serious about being a big-market team as they say they are. But Toronto people have also suggested that they don't want to give out the type of long-term contract that Fielder will command.

The Marlins have given conflicting signals about their possible interest in Fielder, but at this point it seems safe to say they're not as excited about him as they were about the possibility of signing Albert Pujols.

The Orioles have long liked Fielder, but it's unclear how much money owner Peter Angelos is willing to spend this winter, and also uncertain how interested Fielder would be in going to a team that has shown little sign of being competitive in the American League East.

Nationals officials repeatedly insist that they won't pursue Fielder, but others in the game look at the team's strong working relationship with agent Scott Boras and wonder if that could change. The Nationals have Adam LaRoche signed to be their first baseman in 2012, and the long-term plan is to move Mike Morse from left fielder to first base.


Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Aramis isn't Prince, but he should help Brewers

Aramis Ramirez isn't Prince Fielder.

No one's saying he is.

But if you begin with the assumption that keeping Prince Fielder was always going to be a huge longshot, then Aramis Ramirez isn't bad.

The Brewers completed the rebuilding of the left side of their infield Monday, signing Ramirez to a three-year contract that will pay him about $36 mill, according to sources. With Ramirez at third and Alex Gonzalez (signed last week) at shortstop, they should be improved defensively.

And with Ramirez sliding into Fielder's spot in the middle of the batting order, they should be competitive offensively, too.

Ramirez becomes even more important to the Brewers with Ryan Braun's status in doubt. Braun faces a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test, with his appeal scheduled to go before an arbitrator sometime next month.

But Braun will be back. Fielder, barring what would now be an incredible turn of events, will not. The Brewers were faced with replacing 38 home runs, 120 RBI and a .981 OPS out of the cleanup spot.

Ramirez has a career .842 OPS. He has six career 100-RBI seasons, and he drove in 93 runs for a bad Cubs team last year.

He's not Prince, but he is a solid middle-of-the order bat.

With the Ramirez signing, the Brewers could be done with their major winter shopping. The plan has been to try young (and cheap) Mat Gamel at first base, and with Francisco Rodriguez accepting salary arbitration, the Brewers wouldn't have much money to spend on another first baseman, anyway.

They could still trade K-Rod to a team looking for a closer. They could consider dealing starting pitcher Randy Wolf or even Shaun Marcum if they wanted to use the money elsewhere.

But other than adding some depth, the Brewers now don't need to do anything else. Without Prince, and likely without Braun for the first 50 games, they still have a team that should compete again in the National League Central.

The Brewers won the division in 2011. The Cardinals, their closest contender, lost a manager (Tony La Russa) and a superstar (Albert Pujols). The Reds, who won in 2010, have yet to find a deal for the top starting pitcher they have long sought.

The Cubs, even if they sign Fielder, are likely a year or two away from true contention. The Pirates are improving, but not scary. The Astros are just starting on a long rebuilding process.

The Brewers may not be as good without Fielder. But with Ramirez, in this division, they could be good enough.


Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:47 am
 

Latest on Rangers, and other meetings notes

DALLAS -- More baseball talk from the second full day at the winter meetings:

-- The hometown Rangers have watched the Marlins dominate the first two days of the meetings, and they spent Tuesday night meeting with the representative for pitcher C.J. Wilson, who they very likely will not re-sign. But the Rangers have been active on many other fronts, according to sources. They're in on free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle, and potentially in on free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Also, despite already signing closer Joe Nathan, the Rangers have considered a run at A's closer Andrew Bailey, who is available in trade.

-- The Phillies have decided against pursuing free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and will instead keep Placido Polanco at third and fully concentrate their efforts on retaining shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Ramirez still has interest from the Brewers and Angels, and the Brewers could be the best fit (assuming they don't re-sign Fielder).

-- While much of the day Tuesday was dominated by the Albert Pujols chase, agent Scott Boras has decided to let the Fielder market develop more slowly. Interested teams include the Cubs, Rangers, Mariners, Orioles and possibly the Nationals, plus the Brewers.

-- The Reds have continued to pursue starting pitching. They've been probably the most aggressive team after Jair Jurrjens of the Braves, and have also continued a dialogue with the Rays that began last July.

-- While the Marlins pursued Pujols, they also continued to look at starting pitching. The Marlins have tried for both of the top two free-agent starters (Wilson and Buehrle), and have also made trade inquiries on Gio Gonzalez of the A's and Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros, among others.

-- The Cardinals have been so focused on trying to retain Pujols that they have yet to have a full-group meeting on what path they would pursue if he leaves. Some think they could pursue Rollins or Ryan Madson, and others believe that they could jump in on Buehrle.


Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:46 am
 

Brewers finally show some optimism about Fielder

DALLAS -- Could Prince be the one who stays?

Remember, the assumption all along was that Albert Pujols was the guy who wasn't going anywhere, the guy who was destined to re-sign with the Cardinals. And perhaps he still will.

Prince Fielder was the guy on his way out the door, the guy who was going to get big offers that the Brewers were not going to match. And perhaps that's still true.

But Sunday, even as Pujols' future was in a little more doubt, with reports that the Marlins plan to strongly pursue him after signing Jose Reyes, there was a hint of optimism from Brewers people about their chances at keeping Fielder.

None of them were out and out predicting that Fielder will stay. They acknowledged that a huge offer elsewhere could be too much for them to match.

But the same guys who have been saying for months that it was the longest of longshots were now insisting it could happen, for two reasons.

One, the early market for Fielder doesn't seem to have exploded. Teams are interested, including the Mariners, the Nationals and possibly the Rangers or Cubs. But the indications so far have been that the market may not go crazy.

Second, Brewers people never discount the competitiveness and aggressiveness of owner Mark Attanasio. And Attanasio seems to be indicating that he wants to make a real effort to keep his star first baseman.

None of that means that Fielder will be back in Milwaukee. But for the first time in quite a while, it actually seems possible.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com