Just Do It, Jack!
The two biggest obstacles in front of the Mariners' hopes of contention both got massively huge TV contracts, affording them some room to add massive salaries when needed. Anaheim has started spending that cash, and Texas will too.
Not only was the Pujols signing a massive shot across the bow of the good ship Mariner (subtle entendre intended ;-) it was also simultaneously a blow across the even larger U.S.S. Texas Ranger. Add the addition-by-subtraction move for CJ Wilson for the LALAs (I refuse to call them anything else) over the Rangers, and that makes the Rangers all the more attentive and ready to pounce.
It may seem logical that Texas in their lack of pitching would be all-in on Darvish -- and with all the posturing, etc., that goes on this time of year, it's hard to use anything but logic to determine what the other teams will do. But several people have considered Texas the dark horse candidate in on Fielder.
That could be the nail in the coffin for the Mariners hopes of contention in the next 4-5 years. IMHO, THAT is the move that forces us to auction off Felix to the highest bidder, and leaves the Mariners to collapse the direction of the Cleveland Indians. Not only would that move subtract a potential massive, quick improvement for the Mariners, it would be compounded by adding more of a challenge to the M's directly in the division.
With the starting pitching market being extremely soft, and really Darvish being the only potential high-upside pitcher that Texas might acquire (especially now with both Buehrle and Wilson off the market), and the extreme cost of GOOD starting pitching via trade (though Texas does have a very solid farm system), I can see Texas passing on pitching right now and going cheap on it -- overloading an already high-powered offense by adding Fielder.
Now, you could argue that they don't have room for Prince, but I'd say that none of Napoli, Morrison or Young are really elite enough for Texas to be too concerned about 'blocking' them. There really are only 4 teams that don't have room for Fielder: Yankees, Philly, Boston and now the LALAs. Pretty much every other team has room for Fielder.
Certainly there's a metric ton of risk signing Fielder to a Bora$$$$$$ contract (a la T-Rex as an example). But the M's are in as good of shape to absorb that risk long-term as any team in the league, considering the system, team needs, future payroll committments, etc.
Just do it, Jack. A HUGE part of me would like to see Zduriencik give the Seattle-area saberdudes a big middle finger and throw a T-Rex type contract at Fielder. It's probably what it would take to get it done here in Seattle. Texas may only be willing to go 6 years max, considering the future payroll committments they'll have soon (with the players who will be FA eligible in the next few years), as will other teams I'm sure. Given a market of 6/$150 give or take 20 million and/or a 7th year, there would I'm sure be 4-5 teams interested - even if Seattle were one of those teams, I'd be highly skeptical if he chose Seattle over one of those other teams, especially if one of them is Texas.
The price of not landing Fielder may be much, much greater than the potential albatross in the later years of the deal...
Labels: Prince Fielder.