Stark On Pujols, Fielder, Manny, Royals

MLB executives expect Albert Pujols to re-sign in St. Louis, but predicting Prince Fielder’s next team is considerably more challenging. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark surveyed a dozen MLB executives about likely landing spots for the two free agent first basemen and the details are worth examining. Here they are, along with more notes from Stark:

  • The average prediction for Pujols’ next contract was more than $28MM per season for 8.5 years. All but one respondent expect Pujols to re-sign with the Cardinals, though there’s buzz that the Cubs, Marlins and Rangers are “gearing up” for him.
  • Executives expect Fielder to sign a seven-year deal in the $22-23MM range. Some doubt NL teams would commit more than five years to Fielder because of concerns that he’ll be incapable of playing passable defense once he hits his mid-thirties.
  • Manny Ramirez tried out for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, but it didn’t go well, possibly because Japanese teams prefer to avoid players with baggage.
  • The players and owners are considering significant changes to the schedule in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. The sides are considering a proposal that would split MLB teams into six divisions of five teams, ensure identical schedules for teams within the same division and boost inter-league play considerably.
  • Stark hears that the Nationals are focused on finding veteran starting pitching and a center fielder. One executive believes the team prefers Mark Buehrle to C.J. Wilson or Roy Oswalt.
  • The Phillies have interest in Jason Kubel and have checked in on Grady Sizemore
  • More than six teams have expressed interest in Jimmy Rollins.
  • The Braves seem interested in shedding salary and they continue to float Jair Jurrjens’ name. It appears that they’d move Martin Prado after his disappointing 2011 season.
  • Rival teams say the Royals are no longer looking to trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter, according to Stark. They acquired Jonathan Sanchez earlier in the week and now prefer to hold their prospects and spend on back-of-the-rotation arms.
  • The Red Sox are less likely to spend on a right fielder if they re-sign free agent DH David Ortiz.


blog comments powered by Disqus