Signing Prince Fielder Would Be Amazing – But Unprecedented

Prince Fielder in a Blue Jays uniform.

Prince Fielder batting behind home run king Jose Bautista.

Prince Fielder, Prince Fielder, Prince Fielder…

I’ve waffled on this subject for a while now . On one hand, I want Prince. I think he would be a great addition to the lineup. He’d fill the gaping hole at first base (assuming Lind can’t recover his power stroke). He’d provide unbelievable protection for Bautista. He’d help us challenge for the Wild Card.

But…

On the other hand, he’d be expensive . Very, very expensive. A contract for Prince would easily eclipse the $100-million mark, maybe nearing $200-milion territory. That is a lot of money to invest in a guy who has a body type that screams high risk. Remember Mo Vaughn? Throwing that kind of money at a guy is extremely risky. Not sure I want the Jays to be on the hook for that kind of risk.

But all of this Fielder

chatter got me thinking about the Blue Jays and the club’s history in free agency, specifically if they might actually be a serious contender for Prince. The Jays have made some splashes in free agency before, but never, ever, ever have they signed a player of Fielder’s ilk – a young and powerful hitter.

Seriously – take a look at the list of free agents signed by the Jays. The three that can be considered significant were all pitchers: Roger Clemens, A.J. Burnett, and B.J. Ryan. Toronto has signed some significant hitters, but all of them have been veterans. Frank Thomas was 39 years old. Dave Winfield was 40. Paul Molitor was 36. Even Corey Koskie was 32 when he came to town. (Corey Koskie used to be good. Remember that?)

Toronto has traditionally stayed away from players like Jayson Werth, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Matt Holliday. Why would this change with Fielder?

The bottom line is that even though part of me wants to see Fielder wearing the new blue uniform, there is nothing in the history of Alex Anthopoulos, or in the history of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team that suggest his signing is likely.

And that, my friends, makes me happy and sad.

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