Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why I Believe the Texas Rangers Should Sign Prince Fielder

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers signed Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish to a 6-year, $60 million dollar contract (that actually cost them closer to $120 million because of the fee they had to pay to Yu's Japanese team for the rights to negotiate). Because of those big bucks, the speculation is that now the Rangers cannot afford to sign left-handed hitting sensation Prince Fielder to be their new 1st Baseman / Designated Hitter. Especially if the money they would spend on Fielder means they have less money to re-sign current players that are near free agent eligibility in the coming years.

But I believe the Rangers should throw caution to the wind and sign Fielder anyway, and here is why:

Basically, it's because I believe the Rangers are running out of time to get a World Series championship. If anything, last year was THE YEAR to get it done, but they blew it TWICE in Game 6. They are on borrowed time at this point. I believe they are where the Dallas Cowboys were in 1995: a solid core of players who had only one shot left to win another Super Bowl. The previous year was THE YEAR to get it done, but the Cowboys blew it with an awful start in the NFC Championship. In 1995, they got it done, but only because they brought in a free-agent ringer in Deion Sanders, and even then they only barely scraped out a victory over the Steelers in the Super Bowl. They were criticized for "mortgaging their future" on that one year. But, seriously, would ANY Cowboys fan REALLY trade that 3rd Super Bowl ring in 4 years for a few more playoff appearances (but likely no more Super Bowl appearances) in the late 90s and early 2000s?

I'd gladly "mortgage the future" on one more World Series run - a 3rd appearance in 3 years, especially if it increased the likelihood of their actually winning the thing this time around. In this case, Prince plays the role of Deion, helping the Rangers get over that last hurdle. The Angels are like the 49ers, or the Packers, or the Rams, or the Steelers or the Patriots of the late 1990s/ early 2000s- waiting to be the next team to make multiple runs to the championship. They're getting better with each passing year. And the AL East teams and the Tigers aren't going to just roll over either. NOW is the time for the Rangers to make a big move to get the championship THIS YEAR. Worrying about the future just gives those other teams time to keep reloading and keep getting better. Yes, the Rangers will still have a core of excellent players, just like the Cowboys still had Aikman, Emmit, Irvin, and Darren Woodson. But even then the window was closing on the Cowboys in 1995. And it's probably closing on the Rangers in 2012. Sign Fielder, like the Cowboys signed Deion, and try to make that last run THIS YEAR.

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At 1/20/2012 12:26 PM, Blogger Paul Zummo said...

Fielder is a great player, but stuff like this would give me a little pause. Take it from a Mets fan who saw Mo Vaughn eat himself into oblivion. Maybe Fielder is just one of those guys whose weight won't be an issue, and who can also hide it to some extent just as a DH. But it's definitely something to consider.


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