By Shannon Drayer
It can be tough if not darn right impossible to get the full story on Twitter with the 140-character limit. To that end, the “Kevin Calabro Show” invited ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick to expand on his tweet which stated that two agents had told him that the Mariners “only have $3-4 million left to spend on the roster this winter.”
What he didn’t say in the tweet he said on the show.
“I guess you can interpret this two ways: Do they have 3 or 4 million left in the budget or do they have 3 or 4 million left in the budget after they have set aside 20 million for Prince Fielder? I don’t know that,” he said.
Important to clarify that. No doubt Crasnick tried to get to the bottom of this with the agents he spoke with and they were not sure either. Again, as I said in my last post, you have to take into consideration that whatever has been said to agents has been said in the midst of negotiations. It is information but information that cannot be taken at face value at this point of the game.
Crasnick is just reporting what he was told but he does have opinions based on the conversations he has had on just where the Mariners stand in the Fielder sweepstakes. They could be a player, but a cautious one at that.
“No other team has stepped to the forefront with him. I do get the sense that they really don’t want to be used and I don’t think they are going to go through the roof in a bidding war,” he said. “That’s the problem with other teams, the Cubs, Nats and others would probably be interested in Prince Fielder on a five-, six- or seven-year deal but not on a 10-year, $250 million deal like Albert Pujols.”
All of this makes sense. Boras no doubt would like to see his client get a similar, if not better deal than the one Pujols got. It doesn’t appear that anyone is willing to, or feels the need to do the same with Fielder. The Mariners seem to be the only team that really needs Fielder right now and that puts them in a tricky spot.
Zduriencik has to make sure if he is bidding that he is not bidding against himself. He also has to allow for the possibility that Fielder has no intention of coming to Seattle. If this is the case then, as Crasnick said, Zduriencik certainly wouldn’t want to be used to drive up his price for another team. Now Boras is not going to let his client eliminate anyone publicly at least so if Zduriencik is interested then he has to stay engaged and hope that he truly has a chance.
Be prepared for this to drag on. Unless the Rangers come out and say they have no intention of pursuing negotiations for Fielder, regardless of whether or not they sign Yu Darvish, Boras could hold out past the Darvish deadline to at least give the appearance that Texas is interested. It is all about creating the market and Boras will exhaust that market before Fielder is signed.