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Reports: Fielder to Detroit for 9 years

Jan 24, 2012, 8:18 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Prince Fielder stunned everyone and will sign with the Tigers.

The Prince Fielder saga appears to have reached its conclusion. In a location no one predicted.

Fielder has agreed to a nine-year contract worth more than $200 million with the Detroit Tigers, according to reports by Yahoo! Sports's Tim Brown and CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.

Never seriously mentioned as a destination for Fielder, Detroit somehow emerged the victor in an unprecedented free-agent sweepstakes that lasted nearly four months and (depending on who you believe) had the Nationals as heavy favorites to land the 27-year-old first baseman.

In the end, the Nationals stayed true to their mantra from the start of the offseason: They were interested in Fielder only if his asking price came way down, specifically the number of years he was seeking. Everyone expected agent Scott Boras to be able to command a deal ofRead more »

138 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Wow!

  2. psdfx - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Strangely, I thought PF would be a fun addition, but was never convinced it was worth losing the fincancial flexibility we'd have if we did NOT sign him…So I'm more ambivalent than I expected about the Tigers news… Strange. We just need to hope Harper and Rendon (etc) hit like projected!Let's go Adam LaRoche!

  3. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Boras is special. He must have made the Tigers a Don Corleone offer that couldn't be refused!

  4. Dave - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Good non move. That is all.

  5. MicheleS - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Well 9 for 214 is not my idea of a good deal. Well at least he got the AL and can DH.. Thankfully we don't have to see him in the NL.And Mark doesn't have to eat crow!

  6. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Should've passed on Werth last year and signed Fielder this year.

  7. MicheleS - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    And our long national nightmare is now over!!!!LETS GO ADAM LAROCHE!!!!

  8. pauloyd - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Yeah, thank God the Nats didn't sign him at anywhere near this price. He belongs in the AL long term. I admit I got caught up in the excitement but that money will be much better spent in the OF. Anthony Rendon can pick up a 1B glove. Now let's get this Zimm extension done.

  9. Wally - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    So glad this is over, and, if we weren't going to get him at a reasonable price, this was perfect: a crazy contract that I would not have wanted us to match.But now that it is over, can we add some decent bench guys, like Chavez, Keppinger or Theriot? And maybe a pitcher or two on a minor league deal, like Garland or Penny, or did the Red Sox get all of those?

  10. flippin - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Now the Nats can extend both Zimms to the long-term deals they deserve. Whew…

  11. The Great Unwashed - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I wonder if Miguel Cabrera will follow Hanley Ramirez's lead and refuse to move from first?

  12. The Fox - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Nine years too much risk for the Nats. Hard to see who Detroit was bidding against.

  13. Stranded_in_Philly - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Mark, any word if this affects Nats pursuit of Cespedes or Soler?

  14. lesatcsc - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    As much as I wanted the Nats to sign PF, not for 9 years. Waaaay tooo long! Only an AL team could really be comfortable with that length of deal.At least now that the PF question is solved, there should be no excuse for the Nats not to aggressively seek a starting calibre OF. Now it can be someone that is likely to stay for more than just one year, because Morse will probably move to 1B next year to make room for Harper. Tick tock, Mr Rizzo, ST is only a few weeks away, the FA possibilities are shrinking by the minute and you are short an everyday OF.

  15. pwilly - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Thank *insert Supreme Being* it's over. Good for Rizzo or whoever refused to go more than 7 years. Now we can concentrate on ST.

  16. Section 222 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Very fun to watch it all develop and to savor the possibilities while they lasted. And I'm really glad he's out of the NL. That's one heck of a lineup the Tigers have if Victor Martinez returns in good form. And a great contract for Prince/Boras. I guess the market wasn't collapsing after all.Now let's see what Rizzo has up his sleeve to improve the roster. So far, he's found our big time pitcher, but hasn't solved the CF/leadoff issue or improved the bench.

  17. rmoore446 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    I'm just glad it's over. Detroit makes since as he can DH. I'll be curious to learn if the Nationals were serious contenders or simply remaining "leading candidate" to help Boras.I think the price would have strapped the Nationals down the road.

  18. David - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Right call

  19. runyetirun - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Honestly, I'm happy that Uncle Teddy held the line at 7 years. Good for him.

  20. Section 215 Row A - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Nine years? Only an American League team could take that kind of risk. Particularly considering Prince's body type. Good luck with the outyears, Detroit.

  21. SilverSpring8 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    That's the best news I've heard in awhile. I'm glad we didn't waste money on him. He'll be perfect as a DH.

  22. Nats fan in NJ - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Excellent non-move. Extend Zim, sign Soler. Keep options open for CF for next year. Very happy how this turned out.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    I'm glad it's over and was fine either way. This does present more opportunities to go forward than being tied down with another huge contract for 9 years. No way would I have been happy with anything more than 5.And 222…. what collapsed was Victor Martinez's knee.

  24. Doug - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    It's meaningful that so many Nats fans are relieved not to get Prince Fielder. I'm one of them. It's not just the money, it's the impact that he would've had on the roster by occupying 1B for a generation, adversely affecting the team's relationships with Zimmerman, Morse, Rendon, and even Espinosa and Desmond. We like those players and want to win with them in the long run, even if it means being less likely to contend in 2012. No Bowden team had that kind of character.

  25. Wally - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Hey lesatcsc – at this point, I say trade for Marlon Byrd, assuming it is a moderate cost in prospects. FA OF market is looking pretty slim.

  26. natsfan1a - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Very glad it's over, and that the Nats didn't go for such a contract. Good luck to Insider Dawn and her Tigers now that they've taken a PF flyer.Special thanks to Mark for shepherding us through this prolonged FA signing process without losing either his journalistic integrity or his mind (the latter, at least, to all appearances :-) .

  27. Wally - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Doug said…It's meaningful that so many Nats fans are relieved not to get Prince Fielder…. It's not just the moneySpeaking only for me, it actually is the money. I am certainly relieved that we didn't offer this (although something makes me think that we'll see reports that we were up around 8/$180m or so).But if he signed for 5/$125m, I would have been disappointed that it wasn't us.

  28. jd - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Wally,I think we are looking at a Bernadina and Cameron platoon in center for 2012. Let's see if Goodwin is the real deal or if we have to find a CF elsewhere.

  29. natsfan1a - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    btw and in re. my second para. above, I enjoyed this piece from the CSN site the other day.

  30. jd - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Wally, again I agree completely. I think Rizzo and the Lerners understand that they made a huge mistake with Werth last year and they weren't doing such a long contract. Not with Zim to sign and others to follow in the years to come.

  31. Jan Brady - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    It is also a nice consolation prize that our lineup is not completely (or close enough to completely for internet ranting purposes) under the control of Scott Boras.

  32. jd - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    The next intriguing story line might just be the Anthony Rendon Saga. I am not at all sure he ends up at a position other than 3rd base. How that plays out will be most interesting.

  33. Arlington Nat's Fan - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    That Boras can be a real stinker of a pole cat and I wouldn't want to be in a position in which he could influence the mindset of multiple players in our lineup to affect negotiations with one of his clients.

  34. Wally - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    jd said…Wally, I think we are looking at a Bernadina and Cameron platoon in center for 2012. Let's see if Goodwin is the real deal or if we have to find a CF elsewhere.Hey JD, how are things?You are almost certainly right, but that just seems so disappointing and unnecessary. For relatively little money, we could have added an Andruw Jones, Cody Ross or several others who could have, at a minimum, been part of an effective platoon. I think that we know what Bernie is (and it isn't someone who should get more than 100 ABs a year), and I find it hard to believe that Cameron will be productive at his age and after the last few years.OK, I'll stop whining now.

  35. Tim - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I'm happy it's over. PF would've been a good addition to the clubhouse in continuing to change the culture. However, I never was wild about his and Braun's antics when they hit HR. After all, act like you've been there before.You watch, LaRoche is going to have a monster year: .285/.375/.525 with 38HR and 115 RBi. He'll make it a tough decision next offseason.LaRoche for MVP!

  36. sjm308 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I was ready to go either way and this makes perfect sense for the Tigers. There is no way we would have been happy 7 years from now much less 9 and you have to hand credit to Boras in getting what he set out for.Funny how Mark and Rizzo both made statements about this situation and stayed true to those statement while many many posters here just kept on and on about things that obviously were just rumors. I guess we might have made an offer but I am pretty sure it was not for more then 5 or 6 years and it looks like Rizzo played it right. On to the Zimm extention and that troublesome CF situation as well as the bench. So glad this will probably be the last post on Prince and am glad that two big sluggers will not be in the NL this year as our lads work toward the playoffs.

  37. Bowdenball - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I can't remember who it was who brought up Detroit last week and I told them it would make no sense with Cabrera on the team and Victor Martinez presumably coming back next year. Whoever that was, I'm sorry. I'm still not sure how this makes sense for the Tigers, but if the Marlins can sign a second elite SS with Hanley Ramirez already on the roster, I should have assumed that anything was possible.

  38. Tom in AR - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    First – I am so glad this is over.Second – I am even more glad that we didn't sign Fielder for 9 years and 200+.Back to the original plan. Start the season with a platoon at CF (Morse and Werth in the corners), after about 6 weeks, call up Harper and move Werth to center, next offseason move Morse back to 1st and decide if there is a major league caliber CF in our farm system or else sign one from the deep free agent class.I enjoyed the dream of PF's presence in our lineup, but now I want to focus on the team we have (and get Zim extended!)

  39. Tcostant - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    I'm fine with missing out, 9 years is at least 4 years to many for my blood.How does Boras do it?

  40. Kipp Westingham - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    To all you who brewing up some sort of "either/or" scenario involving Zimmerman and Rendon, I think the words of Lorenzo de Medici (Prince of Firenze (Florence)) and personal friend of Machiavelli are apt: One might be better than another, but possessing both is better than possessing either alone.

  41. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Whew!Though, to be honest, had the Nats landed Pricne my resposne would have been "Yes!"In any event, life goes on and ST is just around the corner. I hope that Rizzo is not yet done tinkering with his roster. We'll see.dfh21

  42. Tom in AR - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Let's see what Rendon does in the minors, but I am hoping he plays a significant role, at least by 2013. My preference is 2nd base with Espinosa at short and Desmond in a super utility role.

  43. sjm308 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Bowdenball, not to break my elbow patting myself on the back but that was me suggesting the Tigers.My mystery choice for CF is neither Cameron or Bernadina and as a matter of fact I am thinking that Cameron has to have a monster spring training just to come north. My nomination is C. Brown who will come from nowhere to wow both Davey and NI with his defense, speed and desire to finally break through. Bernadina will be the 4th outfielder being able to play all 3 and we will carry 3 catchers.

  44. NatsFanJim - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I have mixed feelings about this. I hate to miss out on a phenomenal player who would literally make this franchise. On the other hand, I wouldnt be shocked to see Morse match and even exceed Fielder's #'s over the next few years. I'd rather see Morse playing first as well. So, maybe it's best the Nats saved their money and can now focus on signing Zim and getting Harper up and producing.

  45. NatsLady - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    NOT TRUE. I predicted Detroit… So did a couple of other people and we got laughed at!

  46. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Proud of the Nationals front office. They stuck to their guns and only would go after PF on their terms and what would for the club in the long term. Always thought we'd be better off in the long term with Morse at first and a top-notch free agent (like Bourne) in CF to match with Werth and Oppo-boppo.

  47. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    jd and Tom in AR regarding Rendon: follow the coaching

  48. sjm308 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    NatsFan Jim: agree with your mixed feeling but thing about 5 years from now with an aging Werth and goodness knows how big Fielder would be then.We now have money to extend Zimm, look strongly at one of the top CF'rs coming out next year and still cultivate Harper & Rendon into our offense.Just heard Lincecum got $40 million for 2 years with the Giants and you think about $214 for Fielder and it really is getting silly out there.

  49. bobn - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    I think he is Dimitri Young on the hoof.

  50. sjm308 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    think not thing!!

  51. Roberto - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Fangraphs' take on the Fielder deal sounds right:"For Detroit’s sake, I hope they win a title in the next three years, because the franchise’s ability to compete long term just took a serious hit. Borrowing from the future to win in the present isn’t always a bad idea, but at these prices, the Tigers should have explored options. The cost was simply too high."FWIW, I like the idea of Marlon Byrd if the price isn't too high.

  52. Farid @ Idaho - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Okay, I'm Rizzo:I trade Desmond & Roger Bernadina to the Rays for Upton and a low-level minor leaguer. I put him in center and assume he'll produce something like a .260-24-80 line. Maybe the team resigns him, maybe not. Espinosa moves over to short and second becomes Lombardozzi's (who won the only Gold Glove for second base in all the minors last year) with Mark DeRosa available behind him if Lombardozzi's bat isn't ready. Add Eric Hinske, resign Rick Ankiel as the 4th outfielder, and here is my projected lineup with stats (and I haven't been wrong since last year):2B–Lombardozzi: .270-4-50, 30 steals (or DeRosa)CF–Upton: .260-24-70, 20 steals3B–Zimmerman: .285-25-100LF–Morse: .280-25-901B–LaRoche: .270-24-85RF–Werth: .265-23-75, 20 stealsSS–Espinosa: .250-23-70, 20 stealsC–Ramos: .275-17-60That lineup has a bunch of good but not great hitters, but there combined production would be more than enough for the upgraded rotation.That's an 86-91 win team.

  53. Anonymous Hero - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    We won by losing.

  54. Unkyd - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    No losers, in this outcome. Detroit will likely be thrilled with PF@ 1B and DH, and we have the roster flexibility to build for the long term, what a ride this is!!!And I have to say, the erudition exhibited on this page, week in and week out, is part of what keeps me reading, every day. Lorenzo il Magnifico, Kipp… Really? Pitchers and catchers, anyone?

  55. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    re-sign not resignalmost opposite meaningsit's not difficult

  56. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Losing out on Prince doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that once again Boras used the Nats to drive up the price for his guy.Doesn't bode well for when Strasburg and Harper hit FA.

  57. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I'll vouch for NatsLady…. she was right up front with her Tiger prediction. And I stayed silent but wasn't really convinced they (the Tigers) could come up with the dollars. I really would have lost alot of respect for the Nats organization if they had pulled this deal.

  58. FS - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I am glad Rizzo stuck with his words that AL is his opening day 1B. Hoping to see Morse at 1B in 2013 and Harper in LF, while we add a CF through FA.

  59. Roberto - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    "I trade Desmond & Roger Bernadina to the Rays for Upton and a low-level minor leaguer."I'd do that deal, too. But I doubt that Tampa Bay does it, especially since several people think that Upton is poised to break out. (I've actually seen him compared to Matt Kemp!)And, besides, I think that Davey Johnson believes in Desmond. Mind you, I don't but my vote doesn't count in this matter.

  60. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    I wish the Nats would win by losing Desmond.

  61. baseballswami - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    I am very impressed by the mature- fan kind of comments I am reading. Yeah – it was a fun dream, but I think we were all aware of the possible repercussions down the line. Nine years – no way. Now PF and Pujols have both gone to the AL. I can just feel our pitchers' era's breathing a sigh of relief. Well, Adam LaRoche, too.I think Adam Dunn ( not saying he is as good as Fielder,by the way) has been a cautionary tale to gm's. So many of these guys ( Jayson, too) have really struggled after a move and a big contract. The Cubs also are suffering with long-term deals that they have to see through. Kudos to Rizzo and the FO for not jumping off this particular cliff. Now give some of that cash to Ryan and Jordan and re-look at the outfield situation. My only regret is that this situation has held things up.

  62. Bowdenball - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    NatsLady:I was one of the ones laughing. You can find my apology earlier in the comments.While you've got the crystal ball working so well, who's the Nats center fielder on opening day in 2013?

  63. Diz - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I know we want to stay positive, but we still lost out.Adding PF would have been a "game changer" for the Nats and would have had us in serious playoff contention for at least the next couple of years, maybe more.I know the years and dollars were extremely prohibitive, but if you look at it on the surface, having him in the lineup would have taken us to the promised land and that's the ultimate goal of any franchise.

  64. Constant Reader - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    As promised …I WAS TOTALLY WRONG. Nine years. $214M. To a team that has even less reason to sign him than our team. To a team that PF was rumored to have sworn he wouldn't play for (one of his father's teams). Scott Boras makes more money than Mitt Romney and I'm just a bureaucrat. Self-flagellation over.Put me in the category of folks deliriously happy that we didn't go anywhere near that contract (I hope).

  65. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    JZimm will get his exetension if he throws 200 innings and is successful this year. Zimmerman has given Rizzo what he wants to stay and if he gets through the season without missing significant time due to injury he'll probably get his extension after the season too.

  66. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    there go those cheap Lerners again!

  67. lesatcsc - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Wally, agree 100%. Byrd would do the trick and would allow Werth to play RF. The question is, at what cost? They're going to have to do something or CF, or the other OF position if Werth plays CF, is going to drag them down like a boat anchor.

  68. Doc - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Good for the Lerners!9 years didn't make sense at whatever the price.

  69. The Fox - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Mike Ilitch the owner of the Detroit Tigers is probably the best owner in baseball. He is also an 82 year old billionaire.I'm not suprise that Detroit signed Fielder but I am supprised about the number of years. No NL team would sign that contract and I can't think of another team that Fielder would play for in the AL this year that would offer 9 years?If Detroit is not over the salary cap they have to be very close.

  70. Roberto - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    "I know we want to stay positive, but we still lost out."True. I'm disappointed but the disappointment is tempered by the knowledge that the price was, as you put it, "prohibitive."I'm a fan and I am tired of losing baseball. (I grew up a Mets fan in a Yankee hotbed, Northern New Jersey.) But I'm also keenly aware that free agency is usually a suckers' deal: the "winning" team is paying for at least some of the player's decline years based on his peak-year performance. MLB's "Clubhouse Confidential" had segment on the $100 million pitchers. The best deal was arguably CC Sabathia, which says a lot to me about how ridiculous paying a pitcher that much money is. Even the Yankees are about to find out how much long-term big money deals can tie your hands. Even if they were willing to pay the 40% luxury tax, their commitments to Texiera, ARod, Jeter, Sabathia et al, are limiting their options. hands. The only way they get under the threshold is by hoping that two of their 2014 starters are players earning the MLB minimum or letting Robinson Cano walk.I'm still disappointed but mostly that Boras found someone who would meet his demands, not that the Nationals weren't willing to marry Prince Fielder.

  71. blovy8 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Man, I'd be even more depressed if I were Victor Martinez.

  72. lesatcsc - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Maybe Ilitch wants to win several more times before he leaves this mortal coil and bequeaths the aging PF blimp circa 2021 to his heirs to sort out? Even billionaires can't take it with them, and what's the point in having it if you're not willing to spend some of it to make yourself happy? He might not be as interested in "building for the future" with all the uncertainty that entails as some…

  73. natscan reduxit - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    … this suits me just fine. The big lug is now over in the Jr. Circuit … and for nine years. Nine years. NINE YEARS! In nine years, I'll be shuffling around a nursing home using a walker. Mike Illich is desperate for a big chunky ring.Go Nats! and thank you Mr. Rizzo!

  74. Gardner - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Not sure what I'll do with this chasm of free time created by not googling Prince Fielder every 10 minutes.

  75. FS - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Not so long ago Fielder, Pujols, and AGon were all top NL 1B. Without Howard for first couple of months, NL's 1B class is very thin now.

  76. John C. - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I am astonished – I would have bet $$ that Fielder wasn't going to Detroit, and I'm not a betting man. Good thing no one took me up on that offer! Natslady, I should never have doubted your read on Detroit.I still think that the deal, from Detroit's perspective, is nuts. Yes, they fill in for VMart this year while he's out. But VMart is still under contract for the two seasons after that. On Opening Day 2013, VMart is at DH, Miggy at 1b, and Prince … is playing OF? Miggy was an unqualified disaster at 3b, and VMart was a disaster at catcher. If the Tigers start Miggy at 3b and Prince at 1b they may have the worst infield defense in ML history. They will essentially be paying $53 million a year for three designated hitters in 2013 and 2014. Wowsers. I still think it's crazy, but I'm glad that Rizzo and the Lerners walked away instead of doubling down on the dumb.

  77. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    To the anonymous at 4:18. We can all start getting used to the idea that Strasburg, Harper and the rest of the Boras clients will leave town when they hit FA. It comes with the territory. A BIG reason why you don't bring Harper up from Spring Training in order to keep him an extra year!

  78. Golfersal - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    I will miss not having Field in D.C. for the next year or two. Know he will be awesome for the Tigers, but let's be realistic, what in the hell is the Tigers going to do when he breaks down in three years like his dad did and there is five years left in the contract?Good to see Rizzo and the Nats keep there heads over this, Adam LaRoche will be fine for a year or two and then they move Zimmerman over and have the Anthony Rendon play at third. Sounds like a plan.

  79. Theophilus - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    bobn said: I think he is Dimitri Young on the hoof.Bovine or porcine?

  80. greg - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    anon 4:28, i think if they wait for next offseason to try and resign zimmerman (one n) next offseason, they will likely either (a) find a much bigger price tag or (b) find an unreceptive player who wants to test FA. i think i've read somewhere that his people have said he's unlikely to sign an extension after this offseason, but i could be misremembering that.

  81. Theophilus - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Someone said NL 1B position is now "thin." W/ Alonso, Freeman, Sanchez, Belt, Rizzo and good rooks/newbies in AZ and Houston, NL 1B is now "young." In three years, AL 1B position will be "decrepit."

  82. Bowdenball - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Anonymous 5:01-Jered Weaver is a Boras client and he just signed an extension with the team that drafted him as a highly regarded prospect. If you pay your players enough that it makes sense to take the "safe" money well in advance of free agency, they'll stay no matter who their agent is.

  83. Theophilus - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Ilitch + Fielder = a first baseman in the on-deck circle w/ a bat in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other. Match made in heaven.

  84. waddu eye no - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    glad thats over with. btw – kerzel posted the ST broadcast schedule on the masn site. radio starts 3/3 and tv on 3/4. think i'll go set the dials and just sit and wait.GYFNG

  85. Drew - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Gosh I really wish the Nats had signed… Aoki.

  86. JaneB - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Oooph! not only am I glad we have no part of this deal, I am going to start a movement to make Scott Boras change jobs. Because if he could do the Werth deal and THIS deal, this guy needs to be doing more important work. Like world peace. Because he is a miracle worker. Okay. We have our team. Gonna love seeing Adam make those plays on first . I doubt we'll sell him because WE will be in the hunt at the All-Star break.GYFNG!!! 26 days….

  87. FS - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Theo, I was talking about current comparison: AGon, Tex, AP, PF, Miggy vs Votto, Howard, and ???Anyways, one less slugger to worry about in NL. Even without Fielder, I think we might have a shot at wildcard.

  88. natsfan1a - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    fwiw, Mark posted the ST broadcast schedule in his Twitter updates four hours ago, but they've been replaced by the Fielder updates at the top of the page. I duly noted the dates on my calendar then. :-)

  89. Feel Wood - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Now that Fielder has not signed, it might make sense to take a chance on Dmitri Young on a minor league deal as a possible bat off the bench. Lightning occasionally does strike twice. And there is absolutely nothing to lose either.

  90. Joe Seamhead - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    What salary cap?I'm so glad that we didn't sacrifice our defense and future stability for PF.The guy is a great hitter and a lower tier first baseman. 9 years would have been a noose around our necks.Now, I won't diss his defense anymore. I wish him, and the Tigers luck. I'm glad we don't have to face him very often until we meet them in the World Series in 2013. I only have one more thing to say: GYFNG!!!

  91. fpcsteve - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Thank goodness! Now we'll have the financial resources to get a great CF from next year's class of FA's. Morse and LaRoche are good enough at 1B for this year. Glad PF is in Detroit and the AL.

  92. Rat Man - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Signing Fielder might put Detroit over the top and maybe not. But he's going to be a huge ball and chain for many years for the Tigers, especially when he begins to resemble Dimitri Young in a couple years. Just what a man who sells bad pizza deserves.

  93. Joe Seamhead - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Can't you just hear Jason Reid? Blah, blah, blah…

  94. Jeff L - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    This is one of those Long Term vs. Short Term deals. In the ST we may wish we had PF but in the LT (I believe) we will be glad that Detroit got him for the DH. Time will tell as he will probably have some very good years in 2012-14.We hopefully will be wildcard or better this year and contend for division championships and WS championships over the next 2-5+ years. Not having $214M tied up with one player that based on his fathers stats will probably be declining in 3-4 years will give us more flexibility when we need it most. We should continue to be a model franchise that rewards its own key players (and internally developed players) with LT contracts. Note how poorly the Skins have done that recently and how well the Csps have done that. Lets get RZ signed before ST so that issue can be put to rest!!!

  95. Steady Eddie - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    To all above who marveled at Boras' skills — I have to think he found a way to pay off God or something, because the only reason he could get this deal was a combination of NatsJack at 3:38 and the Fox at 4:37. The only way he could get more than 5 or 6 years tops was with an AL team, and after the Rangers fell out of doing that kind of contract, no way would PF go to a non-contender.So of course VMart busts his knee and the contending AL Tigers fall into Boras' lap. How can someone so rich get that kind of pure luck you just can't buy?

  96. NatsNut - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Exactly my thoughts, Tom in AR. I would add that it just makes more sense for him to be in the AL for that long. Thank you Rizzo. I trust you more and more every day.____________________Tom in AR said…First – I am so glad this is over.Second – I am even more glad that we didn't sign Fielder for 9 years and 200+.Back to the original plan. Start the season with a platoon at CF (Morse and Werth in the corners), after about 6 weeks, call up Harper and move Werth to center, next offseason move Morse back to 1st and decide if there is a major league caliber CF in our farm system or else sign one from the deep free agent class.I enjoyed the dream of PF's presence in our lineup, but now I want to focus on the team we have (and get Zim extended!)

  97. natscan reduxit - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    … okay, so now here's what I wonder. The Nats need a run producer to top up the lineup. Anyone have any ideas who might be a good fit right now and available?Go Nats!

  98. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    And don't forget. We could go through this same thing next off season with Joey Votto (unless the Reds trade him).

  99. BIGNAT33 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Nice to see so many intelligent, educated Nats fans here! 9 years, $214 million is outrageous – only an American League team can come anywhere close to justifying those numbers. LaRoche will be fine, and maybe Morse, Zim or Rendon will eventually follow him at first base.

  100. sm13 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Sometimes sanity is a very good trait in a GM — 9 years is at least 3 years too long from the Nats perspective. I wish Prince all the best and hope he helps the Tigers beat the Yankees for many years to come. Now, onto the real business of extending Ryan and getting ready for a 90+ win season. Go Nats!!

  101. MicheleS - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    NatsJackI think Votto goes home to Canada and the Jays.

  102. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Programming note: First Baseball Tonite on Feb 7 at 3:30

  103. Anonymous - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Not a good ballpark for a power hitter! In 9 years, Fielder will be riding around in a Little Rascal.

  104. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    MicheleS… I don't know. He lives in Sarasota in the off season. And those Canadian taxes can be brutal.

  105. Exposremains - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Yes it was too much money but this team needs another player for me to be excited about them. If they want to make the playoff they need to get a real CF.

  106. Another_Sam - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    MicheleS – I think it's a hell of a deal. Prince earned every dime. I'm happy for him. He works for the man just like I do. Does anyone have Boros' phone number? LOLI'm stopping in Lakeland this spring.

  107. greg - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    anyone else notice that morse's contract expires right as votto's expires???

  108. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    sure am glad the lerners saved money again this year……..now they can spend it next year!

  109. LoveDaNats - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I am NOT devastated.

  110. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    The Tigers paying him a dollar per pound over the life of this contract???

  111. whatsanattau - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Hallelujah, It's Over!!! And the Nats did not mortgage their future.

  112. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    The hits just keep on coming…first no Prince, now no Debbie Taylor!? Apparently MASN eliminating her position according to Kilgore.My only question to MASN execs is: What was your approach when you fired her?

  113. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    For that much money we could have been in the running for Pujols…

  114. Joel K - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Seems like a lot of support building for a Marlon Byrd trade… that certainly sounds like a nice stop gap to me as long as we wouldn't have to give up any of the upper echelon prospects.Also, as a backup plan to Byrd, has anyone brought up Kosuke Fukudome? In know he has been somewhat dsappointing in the US but the guy gets on base (.361 OBP over a couple thousand plate appearances) and is certainly a one year deal candidate. He can play all 3 OF spots (althoguh RF is clearly his best spot) and could lead off. It would buy Harper more time to develop while we wait for a long term CF solution to present itself.

  115. NSA Domestic Intercepts Division: FLASH traffic - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Scott: Mike, hi, it's Scott.Mike: Scott, how are you? I understand from that twitter thing that you and I are in the midst of heavy negotiations and about to finalize a deal? [Laughter]Scott: Yeah, exactly. [Chuckles] But that is why I'm calling. I've got a firm offer for nine years. The yearly salary is about the same as what you and Mr. Learner [phonetic] were talking.Mike: Nine years? Impressive. Rangers? Can't be the Dodgers, can it?Scott: Mike, you know I can't say. But are you, ah, interested in going 10 for prints?Mike: [Laughter} Scott, you talked to Mr. Learner yesterday, right? He told you, what, that we had done our homework and that our offer was as far as we would go?Scott: Yeah, something like that. But he also said, ah, that I should call you if we, uh, had any new developments to report.Mike: Fair enough. And I appreciate it, I really do. And Mr. Learner does too, I can tell you that. I'll be sure to tell him you called and kept your end of the bargain.Scott: Should I, ah, wait for you to check with him? I can give you 10, maybe 15, ah, minutes.Mike: No, no. [Chuckles] No need to wait on us. We're just not doing nine or ten. I have the authority to tell you that, that's for sure.Scott: Okay, well, ah, bye.Mike: Take care. Best two prints.[Watch Officer's Note: We remain puzzled by this series of intercepts, but are now satisfied it represents no threat to Washington's security. However, the attempt by 'Scott' (last name unknown) to sell 'prints' to 'Mike' (last name unknown) and 'Mr. Learner' (first name possibly 'Ted') may represent some form of industrial espionage or even blackmail. We will therefore turn the transcripts over to domestic law enforcement officials for further review and evaluation.]

  116. JaneB - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    I don't know why. But it is making me so happy to read all these comments…so many people I've been reading for a while and lots of new people, too. We know who our team is now, we are getting closer by the day to pitchers and catchers, and then spring games and then REAL games, and then Home games. I'm so grateful for you all, for Mark especially,, and that we aren't on the hook for $214m over 9 freaking years. I send you all virtual bear hugs.

  117. ehay2k - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    So glad it's over! Nats aren't poor, can pay to keep OUR guys, there's no drama about who will play where for how long, and best of all, it proves the Nats are NOT the Redskins!

  118. LoveDaNats - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    @Jane BThanks! I needed that.

  119. RickH - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Glad it's over and glad we didn't do that.

  120. SonnyG10 - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    I'm glad the PF drama is over. I could have gone either way, but I think we're better off not doing a deal for PF for all the reasons mentioned above. I still expect us to have an entertaining season and have a chance for the playoffs barring injuries.

  121. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Relieved! Now – let's everybody move along – nothing more to see here.

  122. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    What it means is that Ted Lerner has to wait another year or two. And when you are 86 that's not always the best scenario to look forward to. Without Fielder, instead of pursuing Upton as the final piece, its likely the Nats will now wait to see what develops in their farm system. I think next year the pitching will be more attractive than the CF's. And that Nats must perform well this year to bring them here next year.Too many right handed bats in this lineup is not a good thing. Even if Lombardozzi were to join the lineup as a switch hitter it would still be two natural right handers in Lombo and Espinosa plus Harper and LaRoche. I don't have the confidence in LaRoche that Mark does. He is over 30 and had started to decline before the injury. Now he is in decline along with an injury. He's not who you put at first base if you want to compete in the NL East. Morse? Heck yes. LaRoche, no.

  123. Dave - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Gonna miss those NSA intercepts, though.I'm glad we have a mature, patient, responsible adult as a GM. Good non-move, Rizzo.

  124. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Gotta wonder what would have happend if V-Mart hadn't been hurt.

  125. mstomper - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Joel K, I've thought about Fukudome as well. He's probably better than anyone else we have until Harper is ready. I'd like to have Ankiel's arm out there, but it would be nice to have someone with a decent OBP in the order. Also, hasn't Fukudome tended to be a fast starter? Maybe when he goes belly up Harper will be ready.

  126. Joel K - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    mstomper- good point about Fukudome's first half production… i'd still prefer Byrd b/c it would keep Werth in RF but of course Fukudome won't cost any prospects as Byrd likely would. regardless, there are still a couple of options out there for Rizzo. they might not be sexy, but they've got teeth!

  127. lls45 - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    @sm13: I also hope he helps the Tigers beat the Yankees. And keeps Teixeira out of the All-Star game.

  128. NatinBeantown - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Big winner in all this? Theo Epstein.How much easier does rebuilding in the Central look with Fielder and Pujols out of the division? The Cubs team ERA just dropped a half run.

  129. Joe Seamhead - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Jeez, Michael Morse's two year deal looks like a basement bargain for the Nationals now.

  130. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    That's a lot of money suddenly available for free agency next year…

  131. Commish - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    I almost feel like I'm not on the Internet, all these comments are so well thought out and intelligent, and not a mean spirited word between anybody. No one has claimed that Obama's a socialist or that Gingrich is the devil, I mean damn, I love TRUE Nats fans. I've rooted for the Nats since 1958-1971 and again since they came back, this is going to be the greatest season of my lifetime. Let's do it.

  132. Nattydread - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Mark Z and Mike Rizzo, thanks for being grown-ups.For Xmas, we kids sometimes want toys that are way too expensive and way too breakable. Now…Agree totally with natscan reduxit: … okay, so now here's what I wonder. The Nats need a run producer to top up the lineup. Anyone have any ideas who might be a good fit right now and available?Without a lot of luck, natural progression in 2012 is not going to improve our offense enough.Make a deal Rizzo.

  133. Los Doce Ocho - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    Im saddened by the love fest…of a move that didnt happen.Personally, I'm pissed Prince is not a Nat.I'll say this:Prince is not a good defensive 1B. But he hits 35+ homers and has an OBP of 400+. His OPS+ for his 7 year career is 140+. Thats a hall of famer barring injury. Sure, he weighs almost 300 lbs, but he also has played almost a full season every year and he's only 27. At what point would his long term deal have become an issue? Age 34 after multiple playoff appearances? When is $23+ mil/yr a detriment to a mid+ market payroll? After the first playoff series? The second? How about after the first World Series Title?How Much Is A Championship Worth?I'm not sure, though I know I would be there from the day Prince would have been introduced as the Nats 1B for the next decade.My issue isnt what just happened…its what hasnt happened.Why arent other fans up in arms WAS has Werth and LaRoche instead of Prince (Or AGon or Pujols…) and any other miscellaneous outfielder?I understand signing Prince could have jeapordized signing Zim and others long term (though it shoudnt have)! But signing PF would have infused WAS with an energy not seen since the mid 80's Redskins.And I'm a Zimmerman superfan. I love the future of Zim, Zimm, Espinosa, Ramos, Stras, Storen and Gio. I love the potential of Harper and Rendon, never mind the other prospects that make it through. The Nats have a bright future.Signing Fielder shouldnt have been an issue to immediately re-signing Zimmerman or extending other designated players as they became free agent eligble. The DC market supports a much higher team salary based on Forbes projections along with increased MASN revenue.Ive had the KOOL AID since 2005. You'll see me in the same seats since inception. I love rooting for drafted guys and trading them for players like Gio. But when do you say management F'd up and didn't use their funds appropriately?No Pujols, Fielder, Gonzalez, etc at 1B. Werth is at RF though almost comparable (and older) players like Cuddyer and Beltran sign for multiple tens of millions less. I understand signing Werth made a statement. But do you need to pay $75 milllion more than necessary to do so while losing out on 4 potential hall of fame 1B? Foresight is 20/20…Werth & LaRoche or Fielder & Cuddyer?The Nats have the cash to afford 3 $20+ contracts per year AND renew other arb players as they come due in the future. While the Nats continue to pay down their debt service instead of wisely investing in players, their ability to profit through their MASN deal dwindles.Mike Illitch (DET owner) is a winner. He will lose money to win. He will lose money to support his city. Maybe its because his GM convinces him to do so, like Dombrowski did with Huizenga for FLA. Regardless, we do not have that in DC.We have owners who chose to pay debt service instead of player salaries. Forbes magazine has described the Nats as the most profitable team in baseball. Why can DET afford/rationalize Prince over 9 years but not the Nats?Why can a recession DET team afford 3 $20 mil plus players or a PHI afford 3 $20 mil plus players over the next 5 years but its not possible for the Nats? Pardon me while my post is disjointed. Its off the cuff and been awhile since I last posted.

  134. Los Doce Ocho - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    I see I posted foresight is 20/20. What a boob. I might as well have said foreskin is 20/20. Hindsight is 20/20, especially when you view it through 20/20 bourbon glasses.Ugh.

  135. Anonymous - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Gonna miss those NSA intercepts, though.Well since the real brains are up at Princeton at IDA/CRD you would have to pass it by there first. We might ask them to do a statistical simulation as to how the Nats could get to the promised land quicker … might even be able to do it using Mathematica.

  136. natsfan1a - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Eh, not so much nostalgia here on the intercepts. Have to admit I just scrolled past the most recent one. To each his or her own, though.

  137. natsfan1a - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    otoh, and speaking of nostalgia, I *did* always like Marlon Byrd… :-)

  138. Scooter - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    I know everybody's gone, but: LDO, I LOVE that someone is upset about this. I'm not, but I'm glad you piped up.I wanted the guy, but I didn't think they'd get him — some other team would need (and thus pay) him more. But dude, I feel your pain.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
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Through Monday's games

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TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
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