By Dan Connolly
3:41 PM EST, January 24, 2012
The champagne corks can be popped now throughout baseball.
Popped in the Motor City and by national baseball writers who have been held hostage by Prince Fielder Talk, Day 112.
Fielder has reportedly signed with the Detroit Tigers for nine years and $214 million, according to various outlets, including Yahoo Sports and CBS Sports. That’s roughly $23.8 million per season.
Let’s recap. I was told yesterday that a seven-year, $140 million deal -- what the Orioles offered Mark Teixeira a couple of offseasons ago -- would be out of the Orioles’ comfort zone for Fielder.
So I am guessing $214 million didn’t really come up in conversation with super agent Scott Boras, who, by the way, wins again.
At least we were consistent throughout this process (and so were the Orioles). The Orioles had interest in Fielder -- who wouldn’t? -- if his market were to collapse.
Those who have never dealt with Boras assumed that Fielder’s market had collapsed since he didn’t have a job Jan. 23. But that is not how Boras works. He knows the market better than anyone. He proves it every year.
And this was a huge test case for the most influential agent in sports. If he didn’t secure what he said he would get -- if he settled for a five-year deal for less than $20 million per season, for instance -- it would be as if Boras failed, even if $100 million or so is a fortune.
But Boras doesn’t fail in these instances. Not with his reputation and a major client on the line. Not only did he nearly get 10 years and nearly get $25 million per season -- like he hinted he could -- but he also delivered Fielder to a “mystery team,” a club that was in the weeds waiting. So next time the "mystery team" phrase comes up, it again has credence.
Classic Boras. And now Fielder will go to the team his father once played for.
And Orioles fans can officially grumble about what might have been.
But as most of the local media have been saying all along, the Orioles weren’t breaking the bank and the market wasn’t crumbling.
So Fielder wasn’t coming here.
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