Stark On Fielder, Howard, Sizemore, Frasor

Jayson Stark's latest Rumblings and Grumblings column is hot off the press at ESPN.com.  Let's take a look.

  • Stark explains that the potentially legendary 2012 first base free agent class may be further depleted, as Albert Pujols is expected to stay in St. Louis and Adrian Gonzalez could be traded and extended by his new team.  Even Lance Berkman might stay put, leaving Prince Fielder as the remaining big name.  There are some who rank Fielder below Ryan Howard, writes Stark.
  • Stark says the Phillies signed Howard now because they felt a Pujols extension would drive up Howard's price.  For an explanation straight from the horse's mouth, check out Todd Zolecki's MLB.com chat with Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick. 
  • If the 2012 first base free agent class is loaded, will there be enough teams willing to shell out massive contracts?  Stark says yes, naming a dozen teams he figures could be in the mix.  Don't forget the Nationals and Orioles, two clubs that made huge bids for Mark Teixeira.
  • Jayson Werth's agent Jeff Borris named the Jason Bay and Matt Holliday deals as frames of reference for his client.  Stark takes that to mean Werth will be looking in the $16-17MM range.  My question: does he get five years?
  • One source of Stark's says the Indians have shown zero inclination to trade Grady Sizemore.  Sizemore's $10MM club option for 2012 becomes a player option upon a trade, and Stark feels Sizemore would "almost certainly" exercise it – decreasing his trade value.  That assumes, of course, that Sizemore doesn't turn things around anytime soon.
  • Stark doesn't think the Red Sox have reached a desperation point regarding acquiring a catcher who can throw.  Bringing in a Chris Snyder or a Gerald Laird might necessitate releasing David Ortiz or Mike Lowell.
  • The Orioles have interest in Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor.
  • In a table, Stark provides an interesting look at teams' guaranteed money rankings for 2011 and '12.  The Dodgers, interestingly, are very light on '12 commitments ($3.3MM).


27 Responses to Stark On Fielder, Howard, Sizemore, Frasor Leave a Reply

  1. bomberj11 5 years ago

    No way Werth gets five years. How about three with a vesting option?

    • If Ibanez got three and Bay got five, you better bet Werth is getting 5.

      • bomberj11 5 years ago

        Yeah, but nobody but the Mets were stupid enough to sign him to five years. After this year, if he produces like he produced last year, I may be willing to give him a deal similar to Bay’s.

        • Ferrariman 5 years ago

          Werth >> Bay

          • 0bsessions 5 years ago

            That’s not the point. The point is that Bay’s contract was an aberration. The only reason he got that much is because the Mets front office is borderline incompetent. I can’t think of anyone who’d make the claim that Felix Hernandez isn’t miles better than the higher paid Barry Zito.

        • bay got 4 guaranteed years with an option not 5.

  2. invader3k 5 years ago

    I said this in another thread, but does anyone honestly expect Howard to be better than Fielder over the next 6-7 years, keeping in mind Howard is almost five years older than Fielder?

    • Triteon 5 years ago

      Nope. Unless Prince balloons up like an offensive tackle. I’m still waiting for some RF to thrown him out at first on a line drive.

      • brewersnrays 5 years ago

        psssht, prince is sneaky fast. He has two inside the park home runs to his name, you know 😛

  3. $1529282 5 years ago

    Who cares if a Pujols extension drives up Howard’s price? Let him walk if you’re scared he’s going to cost too much. It’s better than overpaying THIS vastly for him.

    Amaro is slowly but surely making a name for himself as one of the worst GMs in the business. Actually, on second thought, he’s doing it rather quickly.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      what are you talking about? only a genius would trade cliff lee for some AAAA players. and it takes real smarts to give a 37 year old 30million dollars with a full no trade clause. but that polanco deal was genius, he only got 18million over 3 years when his old team didn’t even want to offer him arbitration.

  4. I was just thinking the same thing, Metsville…Fielder is easily the 2nd best all-around hitter there.

    And the exec is trying to use defense as one of the reasons Howard is better than Fielder? Howard’s not exactly a whiz over there, either. And it’s also disregarding the fact that Fielder has improved quite a lot on D over the last year or so.

  5. Grady Sizemore could very well pull in a decent return for the Indians even if the player option is there or not. He has to start hitting better than he currently is but history shows us he is a better player than that and will most likely get back to that level. He is relatively inexpensive this year and next, and a team could work out an extension which pays him fairly if he does not produce to the All-star caliber he is accustomed to by 2012.

  6. adamellingson 5 years ago

    Just for the record, as Brewers fan, Prince Fielder isn’t even the best hitter on our team. Is he a great hitter? You bet your sweat arse he is, but Ryan Braun is the new face of this team. I personally would like to propose a Prince Fielder for Cain and Sanchez trade with the Giants. No money changing hands, no Players to be named later, straight up trade.

    • invader3k 5 years ago

      That ship has certainly sailed, if it was ever there.

    • Thanks for the laugh. I’ll take Braun for ONE of Cain or Sanchez, we already have a Fielder. As the Gigantes, with their feeble O proved last year, a quality SP >> quality hitting, not the other way around. History is littered with teams that hit very well but never sniffed the playoffs, (see the ’09 Nationals for instance, or eight straight Yankees rosters before ’09) but teams that pitch well are always in contention. Bash Sabean all you want, and he deserves most of it, but his refusal to break up this rotation has to be given equal weight in those discussions.

  7. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    I don’t think anyone really took seriously the “legendary 2012 first base free agent class”. It’s simply too far away and there’s too much time for trades/extensions to take place before you can start putting too much stock in it. I think Berkman + Prince are really the only two who have a >50% chance of reaching the open market – and even then, I wouldn’t put either over 60%.

    • adamellingson 5 years ago

      Twins,
      While I certainly appreciate your optimism of Prince “staying” in Milwaukee, and I would love to see it happen, He’s going to rob our team of the money we need to build a quality rotation and bullpen. I don’t know if you’ve seen our pitching, but we have a serviceable 1-2, and 3 JV Highschool pitchers for a rotation. As much as I hate to say it, I’d much rather have a solid rotation and pen with the 25 Mil. then I would one First Baseman. There are plenty of solid first baseman we can plug into an already potent lineup.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        Put it this way, I’d give Prince a 10% chance of resigning with Milwaukee, 10% chance of being traded and then reaching the open market, 20% chance of being traded-and-extended by someone, and 60% chance of reaching the open market via Milwaukee letting him walk.

        • adamellingson 5 years ago

          Ok that makes alot more sense to me. IDEALLY I would like to see us extend prince now that “New Ownership” is willing to shell 100+ on payroll. Unfortunately, even with a hometown break, he’s still gona be around 22 Mil a year. This is acceptable seeing that right now we’re paying suppan 16 and Billy Hall (not on team) 6 Mil. This puts us at about the same threshold for cap space, but no improvement. I’d love to see him make a “Mauer” deal, and actually care about the team. But as a Boras client, that just isn’t feasible. If you have anything I’m missing, I’d love to hear it.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            I hear ya. I was one of the few skeptics of Mauer’s deal (and to this day I still take alot of flak for it). Investing $20+ into a single player seems like a dangerous proposition, especially for teams not named New York or Boston, who don’t have as much margin for error. I think there’s a bigger bang-for-the-buck of spreading that money around and acquiring a couple upgrades elsewhere; applies for both MN with Joe and MIL with Prince.

            I also think Braun’s elite performance this year may make it easier for the franchise to sell him as the “face of the franchise” to fans, and make the idea of moving Prince more palatable to season ticket holders; whereas here in MN, it really was sacrilege to even entertain the idea of losing Baby Jesus.

          • adamellingson 5 years ago

            You know, other than being a Twins fan, you are a pretty smart guy. Just kidding on the Twins part, but seriously I wish I was surrounded by a few more “realists” who understand baseball teams aren’t made by two big salary guys and a bunch of cast aways and minor leaguers.

  8. Guest 5 years ago

    Who in their right mind who take Howard over Fielder?

  9. jonathanroman24 5 years ago

    i think they shouldnt let either one go
    big papi and lowell both have a little value and they shouldnt do it until they at least get a adrian gonzalez to replace them

  10. lionofsenate 5 years ago

    Jason Stark is a Philly guy and Philly guys are about as insecure as anyone. Obviously Howard is not as good as Prince. Never was, never will be. Prince is also a better hitter than A Gonzalez.

    Whenever you see a comment from a “big money exec” you need to read the tea leaves a little. (interpretation–Damn right we want to bid on Prince, but we don’t want to pay more than what Howard got) I think this is your answer right here.

  11. And ‘trading the farm’ for him is the exact reason they will listen to offers this year because you know the Indians will be out of contention by July. The Indians have started the ‘rebuilding’ when they traded Lee when he still had a year and a half left on his contract. They got the brewers farm for CC, very good prospects from the phillies, a very good young pitcher in masterson and a couple prospects for V-Mart. They don’t have a chance to compete this year and possibly next so why not stock up more top tier talent?

    I’m a Reds fan and I would be all for acquiring Grady even if it was a steep price

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