The 2011 Winter Meetings was thought to have three of the MLB’s best players names getting thrown around for the three-day event. Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, and the machine Albert Pujols are all expected to get big money.
Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder
The Miami Marlins whom are never spenders have taken one of those brand names off the list of the many free agents. Jose Reyes agreed to a deal said to be worth a possible $124 million over 7 years.
For the first 6 years Reyes will make a guaranteed $102 million and then the club can buy out the contract for $4 million or continue to pay Reyes the extra $22 million. Reyes is now 28 and will be just toward the end of his prime at the end of his contract (35 years old).
He is known to have injury problems, especially with his hamstrings. Reyes is a player who hits for average and likes to put the ball in play to use his speed. So if his hamstrings act the way they have in the past, I don’t see the Marlins not buying out the 7th year.
But now that Jose Reyes is on the team, whats the plan for the all-star shortstop Hanley Ramirez?
He could possibly move to third base due to the fact of their 2007 first round pick (12th overall), Matt Dominguez, has not had a promising season since play single A ball hitting .296/18 homers/ 70 RBI’s in 2007.
He has just been on a decline in the pre-season prospect rankings. They could move Hanley to center field and put Emilio Bonifacio to third base. My bet is that Hanley ends up pulling an Alex Rodriguez and moves from short-stop to third base.
There has been a lot of talk about which of the two all-star first basemen to sign to a long term big buck contract.
Prince Fielder is 27 and Albert Pujols is 31 years old. There is no debate as to which player is better, Albert Pujols has been one of the most if not the most consistent player in baseball for the past decade.
The debate is about the fact that Pujols is four years older than Fielder. You can easily say that Albert Pujols will last in the league longer due to the fact that he is in extraordinary shape where Fielder is not. Prince measures in at 5’11” and weighs in at 275.
Although Prince is athletic, his body will not be able to perform for the amount of years Pujols’s will. On top of that, Pujols is still not out of his prime.
Pujols is also the better defender by far with 2 gold gloves. If you give him a 7 or an 8 year deal you will have the best player in baseball for at least 3 of those years and a great player for the remaining years, if he remains healthy.
If you give Prince that contract, you might end up paying him to DH (if he signs with an American League team) towards the end of his contract. In my opinion, if I were an owner, I would not be upset bout signing one or the other, but you got to give the big bucks to Pujols.
Fielder has many possible and interested suitors for his services of hitting the long ball. The Blue Jays, Brewers, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins, Nationals, and Rangers all have interest in the big first baseman.
As much as I would like to see the Brewers re-sign Prince, I don’t think they will be able to pony up the doe for him. My two teams I believe are the best fits are the Rangers and Mariners. The Mariners haven’t had a big long ball hitter since Ken Griffey Jr. and are in the process of rebuilding and mainly around King Felix Hernandez.
He would be a great fit in the middle of that lineup and a great way to get the team in the playoff race.
If the Rangers sign Prince, they can almost guarantee themselves to not losing back to back to back World Series. They will be adding an all-star power hitter to one of the best and most dangerous offenses in the game.
I would put them as the favorite to win the 2012 World Series.
The Mariners and the Rangers would also be great fits due to the fact that he would be in the American League giving the team the option of putting him at DH to give him a break. I believe the Rangers will make a push towards the end and end up with the name Prince Fielder in the clean up spot protecting Josh Hamilton on their line-up card.
Albert Pujols has deserved a long-term contract along with a lot of money. I believe he will eventually end up re-signing with the St. Louis Cardinals after the meetings are over. They have to match anything that anyone offers him.
The Miami Marlins have shown that they are not afraid to spend money finally. These are my two biggest possibilities, but there are many other suitors that will spend the millions on the 3 time MVP.