A King's Ransom...Part III
Last week I posed a couple questions to some people whose names you would have recognized. I asked them all if they wanted to give me their opinion on who would sign Prince and for how much. I also asked what they thought the Brewers would offer and if they should even sign them.
One of the people I asked actually reminded me that he was the one lost soul in the entire country who thought the Brewers should have explored trading Prince at the trade deadline. I have no idea why. No point in waiting for his opinion, I guess.
I was hoping to post all of the thoughts in this blog but I guess the peeps I asked are a touch busier than I, and their answers weren't really the info I was looking for. Except for one.
As most of you know I have a partner in this blog. I do the writing and he does the editing. Mostly so I don't look like the semi-illiterate car guy that I've been portrayed as on T.V. My partner, also known as "The Bullpen" took the time to give me a great reply and so after a few of my thoughts, this blog is all him.
I will say that I think Prince is going to sign with either the Dodgers or the Angels for 7 years and $180 million. I think the Crew will offer him up to 6 years and $150 million. I really hope it's the Angels because I would hate to face Prince on a regular basis.
In my last post I mentioned that CC Sabathia signed with the Yankees for $20 million more than what the Crew offered him. Someone posted 'CC did not get $20 million more. It was simply an extra year on the contract that amounted to $20 million more.' I hope that line makes sense to some of you, because to me it contradicts itself. CC's $160 million contract was indeed $20 million more than the Crew offered and that is what will happen with Prince. The annual money will be similar, but it's that 7th, or even 8th year that will get the deal because it's GUARANTEED money.
Enough of my thoughts...onto what "The Bullpen" has to say...
Estimated Brewers offer: 6 years, $150 million ($25 million/year)
Estimated Cubs offer: 8 years, $210 million ($26.25 million/year)
Comments: It breaks my heart to write this, but I truly believe Prince Fielder will begin the 2012 Major League Baseball season in a Chicago Cubs uniform. I'll get to the Cubs and why they will go all-out to sign Fielder in a bit, but first allow me to frame the story appropriately.
I do not believe Prince is "greedy," as some fans will believe, no matter what . However, anyone who knows anything about Prince's life is well aware of his father, Cecil, himself a former MLB slugger who played for the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees, among others. Prince grew up in major-league clubhouses, providing him with an up-close view of how ballplayers go about their business. Because his father had experience with such matters, Prince allowed his father to help negotiate Prince's first contract upon being drafted by the Brewers.
Anyone who knows this story also probably knows about Cecil Fielder's gambling problems, which eventually led him to bankruptcy and stripped him of the nearly $50 million in salary he collected during his MLB career.
Cecil's financial troubles reportedly caused hardship for Prince's mother and siblings, who were left with little income and no medical insurance. Prince cut ties with his father over the matter, and while there have been few occasions when he has spoken publicly about the rift, Prince's comments and demeanor during these interviews indicate there still are a lot of hard feelings there.
So why do I bring this up as Prince is on the verge of signing a mega-million-dollar contract? Because I believe the whole situation has caused Prince to be very protective of his family, and drives him to one-up his old man in everything he does. Example: Cecil's career-best for home runs in a season was 51; in 2007 Prince hit 50, and you could tell during every at-bat that he was swinging for the fences, trying to top his old man. He wants to obliterate his dad's numbers -- on the field as well as salary. He was later quoted as saying, "I don't mind people comparing me to him but I'm a completely different player. One day I want people to mention my name and not have to mention his."
I believe the situation with his father also drives Prince to make as much money as he possibly can, perhaps as a way to feel secure and to show his wife and children that he won't make the same mistakes as his father. These are just guesses, mind you, but when you think about it, it makes sense.
Which brings us to the hated Chicago Cubs. There are several reasons why this will happen, and you don't have to be a genius to figure them out:
-- Prince is a huge talent, and the biggest name on the free-agent list who won't be re-signing with his former club.
-- The Cubs need to turn things around, and fast.
-- New Cubs President Theo Epstein is looking to make a big splash. Gotta rejuvenate a fan base that perhaps has finally grown tired of being the perpetual loser.
-- The Cubs don't have a franchise player at this point. They have a lot of bad paper (Soriano, Zambrano, etc.) and a couple nice young pieces, but not an Ernie Banks, Ron Santo or Sammy Sosa-type player and personality.
-- The Cubs have the dough, and have been known to outbid the competition to get what they want. (See: Soriano, Alfonso)
-- Prince wants to be "The Man" somewhere. If he stayed in Milwaukee he would always have to share the spotlight with Ryan Braun. Something tells me those guys would be like oil and water co-existing like that, competing for alpha dog status.
As much as I hate to say it, I think they go together hand and glove. And I think that Prince -- under the strong advice of his agent -- will take the largest overall deal because, well, you just don't leave a GUARANTEED $40-60 million on the table when this is your one shot. You just don't. I wouldn't. You wouldn't. And let's not fool ourselves into thinking otherwise.
If the situation plays out this way there are many, including my good friend Mr. Thompson, who will probably label Prince as greedy. I don't agree with that assessment, but that's just me. I'm an optimist, so if it happens we also can look forward to the next eight years of Cubs-Brewers (Fielder vs. Braun) games ...
Any guesses on who Prince will sign with and for how much??
Tim Thompson is a carsalesman, farmer, and huge fan of the Milwaukee Brewers. He lives in Milton area with his wife and two kids. Tim is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.