Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Prince Fielder Will Propel the A’s to a Dynasty

The Rangers have had a busy offseason. They added Shin-Soo Choo, an on-base machine and a HEAVILY declining Prince Fielder. That’s a weight joke.  Fielder is signed through 2020 and has $168M left on his contract. Choo is signed for 7 years/130M. The Rangers have been the biggest competition for the A’s over the past two seasons, but due to these two contracts, their time is over. The A’s will stay on top for years to come.

Prince Fielder. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Choo and Fielder have had past success. So had Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols. The problem isn’t these team’s offenses. The problem is they don’t have enough pitching. Both the Angels and Rangers have an ace each, in Jered Weaver and Yu Darvish, respectively. The rest of their staffs are shaky. What makes the A’s successful of late is their excellent pitching AND their bats.

Prince Fielder has struggled against A’s pitching in his career. Fielder is a combined 2/19 against the A’s projected rotation (Parker, Gray, Kazmir, Griffin and Straily) for a Batting Average of .105. Thats 19 games for Fielder to worry about.. The Seattle Mariners have a pretty decent staff as well, led by King Felix. That’s another 19 games. His former team, the Detroit Tigers, have one of the best rotations in the majors. That’s another 7 games. With just those 3 teams, that’s 28% of his games this season. The team he would probably want to face is the team he’s on. Their staff has been ravaged by injuries this spring.

The Angels and Rangers are done competing because they have their money locked up on decaying contracts. Long-term deals may get a player to sign with your team, but they also cripple the team’s finances for years to come. The shorter the contract is, the better. A’s GM Billy Beane has said,

It’s better to get rid of a player a year too early than a year too late.


Words of wisdom.

Last offseason, the Red Sox focused on signing players to shorter deals so that they wouldn’t be handcuffed in the long term. These are the Red Sox, one of the most profitable franchises in the game. The key is producing a winner. The Sox 2012 season was a disaster, but they had had success in the recent past, so free agents knew they were a destination. They were rewarded with this trust in 2013 with a World Series trophy.

If your team is winning, players are more open to playing there. The same is becoming true in Oakland. Yoenis Cespedes has expressed an interest in retiring as an Athletic. Before 2012, the A’s were seen for where they play, not the team they could become. Now that they are back-to-back AL West Division Champs, free agents are putting Oakland on their list of acceptable destinations.

But there is still the financial concern. If we look ahead, the A’s are going to get a new ballpark sometime in the (near?) future. Once they do, they will be basking in all of that “new ballpark” money. The key for them will be to lock up a core player or two that is essential to the team’s success. A Crisp or Cespedes from the current squad. Perhaps a Sonny Gray before too long. They would also gain the ability to sign their young players into their prime years, maximizing their value, before letting them go. It takes time to build a ballpark; 3 years or so. That is about how long it will be before the Mariners or Astros begin to compete at a high level. The time until then won’t be a cakewalk, but this A’s squad is up for any challenge that comes their way.

The contracts may be bigger in Texas, but the win totals will be higher in Oakland for years to come.

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Tags: Oakland A's Prince Fielder Promotions

  • LOL

    So long term contracts will cripple the Rangers but the A’s need to sign a player long term?

    Another fine article from the brilliant minds behind Swingin’ A’s

    • Guido

      He didn’t say the A’s need long term deals. He said sign them I to their prime. The Rangers and Angels have signed players at the wrong end of their prime. Pay attention ton what he is saying and don’t get pissy because he said is critisizing your team

      • LOL

        He’s criticizing the Rangers committing to Prince Fielder long term. You know what age Prince Fielder is right now? 29.

        He wants the A’s to extend Cespedes. Cespedes is signed through his age 29 season. So committing an extension to Cespedes would be committing to the same ages as the Rangers are committing to Prince Fielder.

        Lastly, I’m an A’s fan. But there’s no doubt that there’s a portion of our fanbase that’s poor and uneducated. Thank you and the OP demonstrating that.

        • http://swinginas.com Jason Burke

          I said that of the current team, Cespedes would be someone to sign. When he is in the lineup, the team wins. CURRENTLY the A’s don’t have the kind of money Cespedes would likely command on the open market. I used him as an example.

          Fielder’s numbers are going down steadily, and will continue to do so, making the contract not beneficial to the Rangers if he is already declining entering his prime. I also mentioned their pitching staff. They are following in the Angels’ footsteps.

          In the future, when they DO have the money to spend, I highly doubt that they will be signing anyone to a 7-10 year deal. Beane will keep it 4-5 max.

          Thank you for flat-out saying that the whole staff here is uneducated. We all really appreciate that.

        • Steve Borden

          I’m not sure you caught the gist of this article but it is good to know us A’s fans have a Harvard professor amongst us.

        • Guido

          As you can see more agree with me than the internet tough guy comments you post. Please go back to being a Giants fan