Commentary

Sorting Prince Fielder's suitors

Resources shouldn't be the only factor when teams like the Cubs pursue Prince

Updated: December 26, 2011, 11:45 AM ET
By Dayn Perry | ESPN Insider
Prince FielderBrett Davis/US PresswirePrince Fielder is likely waving goodbye to Milwaukee, but where will he go?

Barring a blockbuster trade to be named, Prince Fielder's destination is the next -- and last -- big thing this offseason.

Fielder, the outgoing Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, is one of the best pure hitters in baseball. He's coming off a season in which he ranked third in slugging and total bases and second in on-base percentage. At 27, Fielder is also entering what should be the prime of his career. So it's reasonable to expect that he'll average 5-7 WAR per season in the next few years (WAR = wins above replacement).

Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs has already argued that the Texas Rangers could benefit greatly from signing Fielder, as could the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins and a handful of other hopefuls. This raises a related question: Who doesn't need Fielder?

Obviously, we could compile a lengthy list of teams with certainty at first base -- the big-spending Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, for instance -- or without the necessary resources to sign Fielder. But what about those teams that, despite a superficial need for a slugger like Fielder, shouldn't be among his suitors?


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