My favorite tweet from last night, courtesy of @TheBillWalton:
Ron Washington/Cocaine, Tony La Russa/DWI, Mark McGwire/Steroids. The coaching staff at the World Series looks like a Lohan family reunion.
Bodog posted odds on which team will sign first baseman Prince Fielder this winter. The Orioles made the list, which reads as follows:
Chicago Cubs 3/1
Washington Nationals 5/1
Toronto Blue Jays 5/1
Baltimore Orioles 5/1
Seattle Mariners 5/1
Milwaukee Brewers 11/2
Texas Rangers 7/1
St. Louis Cardinals 15/2
The Nationals have Adam LaRoche returning next season, which pushes Michael Morse to left field. I’m not sure they’ll be focused on Fielder.
The Cardinals make this list if they lose Albert Pujols, also a pending free agent. Then again, if they wanted to break the bank, wouldn’t they do it for Pujols?
The Orioles have been linked to Fielder since the beginning of the 2011 season, at least by certain members of the national media. They reason that the club has payroll flexibility - part of the Andy MacPhail legacy - and a dire need for a big bat in the middle of the order. They also have a first baseman, Mark Reynolds, who can move back to third base.
A new president of baseball operations, coupled with manager Buck Showalter’s aggressive nature, means that the Orioles will make a serious run at Fielder.
I’m still not buying it, but that’s the logic.
Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan speculated after the NLCS that Fielder could land a $200 million contract this winter. Even if that’s a bit excessive, it’s still rich territory. And the Orioles, you could argue, should spread their money in other directions.
I’d love to see Fielder come here, but not at the expense - so to speak - of a top-of-the-rotation starter. But if they really can’t buy the arms, trade for one and go hard after Fielder.
He’s a big bat. Well, he’s just plain big, but he’s played in 162, 161, 162, 159, 158 and 157 games in his six full seasons in the majors. He’d put more butts in the seats. And he’d give the Orioles the type of imposing, feared presence in their lineup that their division rivals trot out on a nightly basis.
Yeah, I want him, but I don’t expect him to come here. I don’t expect the Orioles to outbid the rest of the field. I just don’t see it happening.
I’ve heard the argument that the Orioles will get as much, or nearly as much, production from Reynolds that they would get from Fielder, and at a fraction of the cost. Reynolds is signed through 2012 with a club option in 2013 worth $11 million (with a $500,000 buyout.)
Fielder hit .299/.415/.566 with 36 doubles, 38 homers, 120 RBIs, 107 walks and 95 runs scored. He struck out 106 times, committed 15 errors and didn’t eat meat.
Pretty much a typical season for Fielder.
Reynolds hit .221/.323/.483 with 27 doubles, 37 homers, 86 RBIs, 75 walks and 84 runs scored. He struck out 196 times, committed 31 errors - 26 at third base - and ordered at least one meat-lover’s pizza.
Fielder committed four errors last season and seven in 2009. That’s not bad for a guy who looks like he should be playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.
If nothing else, I hope the Orioles make a legitimate run at Fielder. Don’t lowball him with an opening proposal and wait for agent Scott Boras to call back with a counter offer. Be aggressive. And be prepared to keep Reynolds at first base.
Fielder will probably end up as a designated hitter in New York or Boston.
At least the Red Sox know he won’t sneak into the clubhouse to eat chicken in the middle of a game.