In the end, while the Detroit Tigers have come seemingly out of nowhere to get Prince Fielder, to me it’s no surprise that Fielder ended up with a winning team and in the American League.
Any team willing to give a player those years and that money - and it’s been reported as a nine-year, $214 million deal - better at least have the designated hitter spot ready for him at some point. I think that’s an insane contract, but I felt the same way about the Albert Pujols deal with the Angels.
Can Fielder deliver for all nine years of the deal? Probably not, so the Tigers may have paid $214 million for only five or six years good years of production. That is a lot of cash for one player. I don’t think Pujols has any chance to produce big numbers during the entire life of his contract, either.
Scott Boras did it again. He got a massive contract for a player with concerns about his conditioning and he got more years than just about anyone thought he could. He didn’t get the Pujols deal, but he got darn close.
Now comes the backlash that Fielder is not with the Orioles but I don’t think there was any point - even in recent days - where the O’s had a real chance. It sounds like they checked in with Boras and monitored the negotiations, but were never really a strong contender for his services.
They will get criticized for not going after Fielder. But the real criticism should be that, after 14 years of trying, the Orioles are still not good enough to be one player away and are not good enough for a Fielder-type talent to want them.
Whether they have that kind of money or not, the Orioles can’t put all that into one player right now, they simply have too many other needs and too much building still to do. Some fans will understand that, but many will not.