MLB

Boras taking his time with Fielder deal

Share This Story

Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

To the question, "What the heck is taking Prince Fielder so long to sign a contract?" his agent, Scott Boras, essentially replies, "These things take time."

Fielder is a rare free agent, a 27-year-old slugger with 230 career homers — or 41 more than Alex Rodriguez had when he first hit the open market, though A-Rod in 2000-01 was two years younger.

MUSIC TO THEIR EARS

Closers carefully select the tune that accompanies them from the bullpen to the mound. See MLB's playlist.

Boras described the process of educating owners on Fielder — and introducing Fielder to those owners — as “time-consuming.”

To be sure, there is a lot to absorb.

“When Prince Fielder came to Milwaukee, check out the first year, what they were drawing,” Boras said. “Then, when you see that number (2.21 million), see what they’re drawing now in Milwaukee (3.07 million). And they’ve also got a new (local) TV contract . . . Look at where the franchise was then, and where it is now.

“You absolutely see two factors with superstar sluggers — they bring retention value and attraction value. Retention value — look at (Rickie) Weeks, (Corey) Hart, (Yovani) Gallardo. They all stayed in Milwaukee. When you have that guy in the middle of the lineup, it’s, ‘Oh yeah, I want to play with him.’ Jeff Kent won an MVP hitting behind Barry Bonds. Ryan Braun won an MVP hitting in front of Fielder. That’s the modality.

“. . . (A player like Fielder) gets you the (local) TV contract, he gets you a higher franchise value, your attendance goes up . . . These players pay for themselves. They make you a lot of money. Owners understand that. They reach out to you. Prince is not in any way a normal free agent. Owners will move players off their teams that already occupy positions to get him. Even though they have a player at the position, this is the move to bring in a franchise player.”

Boras indicated that Fielder has met personally with several owners, though he declined to identify those owners or say how many such meetings have taken place. The Mariners, Cubs, Nationals, Orioles, Rangers and Blue Jays are among the teams that have been linked to Fielder.

LONG HAUL

Take a look at which players landed baseball's lengthiest contracts.

Boras said the length of the process is one reason why Fielder remains unsigned nearly three weeks after Albert Pujols reached agreement on a 10-year, $254 million free-agent contract with the Angels.

“It takes a bit longer because these are ownership decisions,” Boras said. “I’ve got to sit down with owners. There are a lot of them interested in Prince. That’s time-consuming. Respectfully, you have to sit down and meet with these people. You’ve got to go through the process.

“Prince covers all the spectrums. You don’t just have to be a competitive team now (to sign him). You can be a club that will be competitive in a couple of years. If you sign this player, it will always be a good investment, no matter what position you’re in.

“My job is to canvass this, make sure Prince knows exactly what his options are. He has exchanges with these people, gets to know them . . . In a normal free-agent negotiation, you can handle a lot of things by phone. You’re able to get it down to a couple of teams and have it come to fruition. But in these situations, it’s an ownership negotiation.”

The meetings and discussions that Boras describes — the personal connections that are established between free agents and owners — often prove more pivotal than many perceive.

Free-agent outfielder Jayson Werth’s talks with Nationals owner Ted Lerner last offseason helped persuade him to accept the team’s seven-year, $126 million offer. Pujols’ discusions with Angels owner Arte Moreno, while not face to face, also played a role in his decision.

In Fielder’s meetings, Boras said that the first baseman not only is getting to know the owners, but that the owners also are getting to know him.

“Prince means a lot to the game,” Boras said. “He’s a great leader. A lot of people don’t know that about him. He ran the Milwaukee locker room.

CASH COWS

See which MLB stars earn the highest annual salaries, who's in the $150 million club and who makes the most at each position.

“There is absolute surprise on the owners’ faces when he talks about leadership, his relationship with his teammates, his personal life. It’s just not at all what they expected to hear from a statured slugger.

“The man in the batter’s box and the man in the locker room are two very different people. The man in the locker room is an ambassador, a very sincere and understanding man. In the batter’s box, he is out there, literally uncaged.

“Having that light switch is a very special thing for an athlete. To be able to control your emotions, do all the things required of a franchise player . . . of all the superstars I’ve been around, psychologically he’s the best that I have seen.”

Tagged: Angels, Brewers, Nationals, Prince Fielder

More Stories From Ken Rosenthal

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..