Mariners Insider

Pujols reaction – and should Mariners sign Prince?

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Dec. 9, 2011 at 8:40 am with 16 Comments »
December 9, 2011 8:40 am

The reaction around baseball to the Albert Pujols signing varies widely, but it’s been the topic of discussion across the country today.

Chicago’s well-grounded Phil Rogers writes that Pujols is an honorable man, but that with St. Louis he was never in the Top 15 salaries in the game – despite three MVP awards – and last year ranked 23rd.

St. Louis columnist Bryan Burwell pulled no punches in analyzing the Cardinals efforts, offering three possible reasons for their efforts and buying this one: the team “opted for image purposes to put up a carefully constructed facade of a “negotiation” to mislead Cardinals fans into believing an earnest pursuit of Pujols was going on.”

Washington Post columnist Dave Sheinin’s take will make Seattle Mariners fans smile – he compares it to the 10-year deal Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees, pointing out A-Rod has been in steady decline since.

As for the response in Seattle, there are demands to sign Prince Fielder and have been – and will continue to be – angry fans blaming the Seattle front office for inefficiency.  Signing Fielder at this point would be as big a public relations coup as a dramatic baseball move, given how far the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels have moved the American League West flag.

Would Fielder transform a Mariners offense that’s been the dregs of the league for years? Not alone. Without rebound seasons from Ichiro Suzuki and Franklin Gutierrez,  vastly improved numbers from youngsters Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak and perhaps breakout years from Alex Liddi and Danny Hultzen … Seattle isn’t catching the top two teams in 2012.

Fielder can’t take a 67-win team into high-90s. The Mariners must first get to the 70s and 80s in wins, and a 14-game improvement next year leaves them at .500.

Put Fielder in a Seattle uniform, and if he’s leading the league in home runs in August – but the Mariners are 10 games behind Texas, Los Angeles or both – are the seats at Safeco Field full? Yes, winning fills them, but spending $200 million on Fielder only accelerates the process, not completes it.

Jack Zduriencik’s job is to build a winning team. The problem with the Pujols signing for the Mariners is, they’ll now need to win even more games. Would raising the payroll to buy one player – and one player only – accomplish that?

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. I will tell you what the Mariners will do: Nothing. They never do. This is a hobby baseball team for the management and owners. No Fielder won’t solve our woe’s but it is a step in the right direction. We need to step up to the plate and spend some mula to get some consistent pop in the line up. We’re ok on Defense and the pitching could use some help. But the Mariners won’t do anything because they want to try to win with nothing but rookies, washed up has beens and a bunch of want-a-be’s. When they do spend money, it is on that last list and they think they can come here and get better or change even though the last team they played for was willing to depart with them because they sucked. So get use to it folks…Lou’s type of team and winning is long gone…

  2. Seahawks2620 says:

    I am fed up with everyone wearing out the sentiment that signing Fielder “will not make us a contender in 2012″. I am really tired of it hearing it. It does not matter, you don’t sign a player to a 6 or 7 year deal in hopes of winning it all that year! If we contend next year or the year after, it should not effect our decision to either sign or pass on Fielder. Fielder will not be available as a free agent when we are “ready to contend”. This whole ordeal is just garbage, and I am tired of all of the “reasoning”. Prince would help improve the team now, and for many years to come. We should make a significant effort to sign him.

  3. joshuatree007 says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Seahawks2620. Siging Fielder would improve you to the point of contention, not only for next year but many years to come. It does more than just add 40 home runs to the lineup, it’s a trickle down effect. Guys around him start getting better pitches to hit, pitchers start pitching with a lead, instead of being afraid to make a mistake, etc.
    We have a nice little foundation in place, and I think one guy…one really big guy, can make a difference. What’s the worse that can happen, we lose 100 games each year because we can’t afford other players? Been there…doing that.

  4. mojjonation says:

    While signing Fielder will more than likely take the mortgaging of a farm or two, it might also make it more appealing to those players who may have thought about coming to Seattle, but didn’t want to thanks to the “fan friendly” environment that is put forth. When Junior (ugh) and Edgar were playing, guys wanted to play for Seattle. Now, Seattle is like a detour for guys who are either lost or out of place. Milton Bradley, Figgins, come on! The Mariners have had more head cases than prospects play for them in recent years. If you take the Seahawks approach, it will take more than one season and one guy to make the turn around. It’s easy to look past a lot of the problems when the team isn’t on 6 or 7 days a week. It’s harder when 81 home and road games are televised and you are forced to see the ineptitude day in and day out. Fielder would be a start, but it definetely would not be the end.

  5. Mariners are a joke!

  6. ZombieLatics says:

    It would be nice to have a player like Fielder. It would also nice if they moved the fences in a bit, too. Seattle is not above messing with the fences, we did it to attract pitchers back in the Kingdome. This field is nuts and the players cannot excel when the ball dies. Back to Fielder, who cares if he makes the team win the Series next season or whatever, it would be flipping nice to go to a game and believe the team could actually win a game when the starter pitches solidly. Right now you can have a King or a Lee pitching lights out and still probably expect a loss.

  7. trenchant says:

    All i would like to see at Christmas is Fielder and Hanley Ramirez in a Mariners Uniform! Doesnt hurt to dream.

  8. ZombieLatics says:

    I am not a “good guy” type of guy, but Ramirez is a headcase in the same vein as Bradley and Everett, he would murder the clubhouse.

  9. I am in favor of this IF the M’s increase payroll to AT LEAST $120 mil, as it will likely take 25M per year to get Fielder.

    As we’re way more than 1 bat away from contending & there’s talk of jettisoning our closer to save money, this is a terrible move if payroll isn’t increased.

    Anaheim is reportedly at 170 mil per year, while Seattle is reportedly at 94 mil.

  10. ZombieLatics says:

    These people are freaking rich billionaire baseball team owners, I give two sh*ts about the payroll. Get Fielder, make it worth my time to drive or take a bus to Seattle to watch baseball, otherwise I will stick to the Rainiers. I am sick and tired of hearing about how hard it is for owners to spend money, f them, they get cash hand over fist, there should not be a profit in owning a team, it’s a toy. It’s like expecting your cool sports car to bring in cash. You buy a toy to screw with, not make money off of. These fools are rich, they have more money than we can imagine, and we bought their stupid stadium, so screw them, we did our part, BRING US A WINNER AND STOP CRYING!

  11. We’re talking about the Mariners – not the Yankees. If they sign Fielder that’s pretty much gonna be the budget – no other improvements.
    If they bust loose with the cash for him, it will be to sell tickets and nothing more.
    He can’t win the division alone, and there won’t be any cash left to build a team around him.

  12. imjtaylor79 says:

    I have been against the idea of signing Fielder, as I think the kids, Ackley, Smoak, Carp just need “one more year”. But with Pujols signing and Texas’s lineup, I now think that they need to sign Prince to show the fans they are serious about winning now, or trade Felix while he is in his prime to build for the future(I really hope that doesn’t happen). With Ichiro 18 mil of the books in 2013, it isn’t to hard to find the bulk of Fielders salary, and the M’s are gonna need a big name player to fill the seats in Ichiro’s absence.

  13. WTraveler says:

    Should the Mariners sign Prince Fielder? Absolutely, yes. It will make them a better team and fans will come out to see the home runs–that has been proven over and over. Will they win it all next year? I doubt it but with Fielder they will have a better chance and it would be a huge building block for the future of the Mariners.

    Will the Mariners sign Prince Fielder? The record of this front office is that they will not sign Fielder, come up with a couple lame excuses, and continue to try to fill the seats with AAAA ball players on the field, bobble head dolls, and hydro plane races on the big screen. Whoop-de-doo!

  14. guiltybystander says:

    First of all, Prince Fielder is NOT going to sign with the Mariners. Seriously, why would he? Who wants to freeze their butts off every April and May in a ballpark that’s downright hostile to power hitters, especially when pitchers aren’t going to give you anything to hit because you have no protection in the rest of the batting order? He’ll get a better deal elsewhere because Boras will make sure of it.

    I think Larry’s got the right idea: You pursue an impact free agent AFTER you’ve filled all the holes in the Mariners lineup and they break .500. There’s a reason the Mariners went 66-96 last season even with the pitching they had, and a Prince Fielder isn’t going to reverse that. Panic all you want, but I’m for staying the course and building through the farm system. It’s slower and less sexy than bringing in a big-name free agent, but Zduriencik didn’t inherit a situation where buying the most expensive band-aid would get it done because major surgery was needed.

  15. First get rid of the Baseball Diva in right. Trade him and his salary to another team here or in Japan. We are deep in pitching use it to begin building a winning team. Trade Smolk,Pineda,Seager. Get a catcher that can block a ball and hit 260.

  16. GaryW209 says:

    Year after year we see winning teams make a splash in the news by signing high profile players. Then we watch them make the playoffs and compete for the ultimate prize. All the while, the Mariners sign AA players and trade away quality players to dump salary. How do they continue to get any fans in the stadium? It is really hard to be a fan of a perrenial loser. Must be nice to be a yankee fan or a Philly fan!

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