Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Pro's, Con's and Prince Fielder

 Following a question by @TDotSportsBlogr, I'll be looking at the Price Fielder quandry.

Why should they sign Prince Fielder? 

Well, Fielder adds an impact middle of the order bat who just produces. Since 2007, Fielder has posted a .399 wOBA, which ranks 7th in baseball behind only Pujols, Cabrera, Votto, Holliday, Braun and Rodriguez. As for arguing that he plays in a beneficial park (Miller Park is one of the best hitters stadiums in baseball), wOBA already adjusts for that.  Fielder would give Jose Bautista some protection in the lineup and make it even more dangerous top to bottom, as anyone who has hit 200 HR’s over the last 5 seasons would. Another fact to note is that he's consistant, you know what your getting (until he breaks down).

Why shouldn’t they sign Prince Fielder?

Fielder is listed at 5 feet 11 inches and (a generous) 268 pounds.  While a better athlete then at first glance, his body type tends to wear down and not gradually either.  Fielder is looking for a 6+ year contract worth around 24 million a season.  If he wears down in year 4 of the deal, how much will it hamstring the team considerably (Note Vernon Wells, Alex Rios contracts).  There is a great chance that he’ll be worth the entire length of the deal by year 4 (using WAR $ as a base), but even then, with the money on the books it will be an issue, and that isn’t good for a team that is looking to be a year in year out contender. 

For the second part of why not, lets look at position.  Fielder plays 1B (not very well I might add) which not only adds stress on the body, but costs the team due to the poor defensive play, to the tune of -27 Runs since 2007 (by UZR).  The Blue Jays play in the AL, which means they could just slot him in at DH, which is the smart move (assuming he can handle thinking about every AB all game)., but with any smart move there is the bad.  There are conflicting reports on whether Fielder is willing to DH for an AL team.

What should the Jays do?

 I say go after him. Give him 6 or 7 year money over the 5 years the Jays are willing to give. At that rate, he wont be a burden in the future should he wear down and proceed into a sharp decline. Maybe you overpay a little per season but I'd would rather overpay for a few seasons then pay him for years after his body breaks down and he's a shell of his former self.

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