By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun
7:00 AM EST, January 3, 2012
I’m hesitant to even type the name again.
I’m not sure this much attention ever has been given to a guy that clearly isn’t coming to Baltimore to play for the Orioles.
OK, not counting a certain first baseman from Severna Park a few years ago who is now booed every time he brings his pinstripes to Camden Yards.
Every few days this offseason Prince Fielder’s name has appeared in this blog or other Orioles’ based sites. And people debate whether the Orioles are in on Fielder or whether they would pay him enough to want to come here.
I have tried to stay consistent since the beginning of October. And all of my sources within the Orioles and the baseball industry have maintained consistency (and I have asked them way too many times about the tired topic).
Here’s what I have been told: The Orioles could use another slugger and they view Prince Fielder as an exceptionally good player. But they are not going to offer him a huge contract. And he will get a huge contract. And there is no compelling reason for him to come to Baltimore unless he can’t get a huge contract elsewhere. So the two sides won’t add up.
However, this story won’t completely die because the Orioles have left the door cracked with a caveat: If Fielder’s market collapses they’d have interest. But it won’t collapse that much, trust me. And Fielder’s side won’t officially snuff the rumor because it makes no sense for them to thin the competition.
One club source told me that the Orioles wouldn’t offer Fielder the seven-year, $140 million contract that was rejected by the aforementioned former Severna Parkite, Mark Teixeira.
And I promise you agent Scott Boras, who represented Teixeira, will get Fielder a deal that exceeds $20 million per season for seven seasons. History -- and knowing Boras and knowing Fielder’s accomplishments -- guarantees that.
So why am I mentioning this again? Excellent question (and not a great answer).
Last week, I wrote that Boras and Fielder decided to visit several owners to talk to them directly. Basically, Boras wanted Fielder’s prospective bosses (and the true money men) to understand that Fielder is really a Prince of a man.
And I wrote the duo did not meet with Peter Angelos despite being in the area – which I thought should demonstrate once and for all that the Orioles really aren’t anywhere near the frontburner of this issue and Fielder's side isn't forcing it.
Yet there were some people that didn’t view it as such. I received emails and comments from people telling me that Angelos doesn’t normally meet with agents and players (that is true) and so this means nothing (that is not true). Or that maybe Boras and Fielder met with other Orioles’ representatives (even though the sole purpose was to meet with owners) and I just didn’t know about that and the Orioles are just playing a great game of possum (uggh).
On Monday, when I jumped back into my full workload, I had some Twitter followers asking me about what was the latest on Prince/Orioles. And I don’t think they were being ironic.
So I’ll address it once more – for the love of all that is righteous I hope the Big Man signs very, very soon – and this will be it.
The Orioles think Prince Fielder is a wonderful talent but they are not going to spend the money it will take to bring him to Baltimore. They are not going to get into a false bidding war for him to run up his price. They are going to let someone else make that major commitment.
Sure, there should be an “unless,” clause here, but if I don’t write it, I’m hoping that means you guys will stop asking, hoping, dreaming.
I’ll say this, however: If Fielder ends up as an Oriole in 2012, I will write a personal apology to anyone who requests one.
Until then, can you just ask me whether Teixeira is signing here? I miss that now.
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