Brewers slugger Prince Fielder will be one of the most sought-after players on the free agent market this summer, and the husky first baseman is sure to command top dollar. Will the Orioles -- whose game plan is, of course, to grow the arms and buy the bats -- be willing to pony up the eight-figure salary to sign Fielder?
We won’t know until this winter, but ESPN’s Jim Bowden thinks Baltimore is the most likely destination for Fielder, who has hammered 211 home runs and driven in 595 runs in 905 career games for the Brewers.
“The Orioles are the best fit,” Bowden wrote. “Peter Angelos, the Orioles' owner, has not spent the money on a big time free agent since hiring team president Andy MacPhail. He’s allowed MacPhail to build the team the right way, which takes time, patience, understanding and, most importantly, vision. They are getting there in a hurry. With the recent draft of Dylan Bundy, the Orioles now have a future top of the rotation of Zach Britton, Bundy and Brian Matusz. ... [Shortstop prospect Manny Machado] is a future two-way star, and with catcher Matt Wieters and center fielder Adam Jones, they will give the O’s a strong up-the-middle team.”
And if the Orioles sign Fielder, Bowden thinks they will contend.
“If the Orioles can now sign a young, impact middle-of-the-order bat such as Fielder, they will be well on their way to becoming legitimate contenders,” wrote Bowden, a former general manager for two MLB teams. “Fielder's daily positive energy and 40-50 home runs will be a difference-maker for the Orioles' offense.”
I don’t know if Baltimore is the best fit for Fielder personally and professionally, but he would certainly be a great fit for the Orioles.