Prince Fielder: Why Toronto Should Snap Him Up Immediately
But the Toronto Blue Jays should go get Fielder right now, before anyone else makes a move for the left-handed slugger.
Why should the only team north of the border go after him? Read on to find out.
Money to Spend
While it may not seem like the Blue Jays are a team that is out to spend, team CEO and president Paul Beeston stated that despite last year's payroll sitting around $70 million, he would be willing to take it as high as $120 million.
In addition to that, the Blue Jays were long believed to be the favorites in the sweepstakes for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. Darvish ended up being bid on by the Texas Rangers for $51.7 million, far beyond what the Blue Jays bid.
But that means the money is still there.
Jays fans are clamoring for a big time signing that can make them a playoff team. Their patience is running thin and it's time for general manager Alex Anthopoulos (pictured) to go get one. Even if they have to overpay for Prince Fielder, it won't be more than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim overpaid to sign Albert Pujols.
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In 2011, Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista led the Major Leagues with 43 home runs. Prince Fielder finished fifth with 38.
Bautista hit .302 while Fielder hit .299
Bautista finished third in AL MVP voting while Fielder finished third in NL MVP voting.
Between the two players, they have five All-Star appearances, four Silver Slugger awards and two 50 home run seasons. On top of that, they both hit from opposite sides of the plate.
Those two men are two of the most feared hitters in all of baseball. By stacking them in the same batting order, along with up-and-comer Brett Lawrie, the Blue Jays lineup would become one of the most feared in the league.
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The Blue Jays have a solid foundation for a pitching staff with Ricky Romero (pictured) and Brandon Morrow as the 1-2 in Toronto. Romero is a star in the making and Morrow threw a complete game, one-hitter in 2010.
Behind them, there are great expectations for Kyle Drabek after coming over as a centerpiece in the Roy Halladay trade. If he can continue to mature and gain more control, he will be a very good pitcher for the Blue Jays.
All three pitchers are very young and could be a great playoff rotation, though inexperienced, if the Blue Jays get that far with the addition of Fielder. In fact, by adding Fielder, the Blue Jays could add a veteran arm to their staff.
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When the Blue Jays missed out on Yu Darvish, the need for a front-end starter increased dramatically.With Prince Fielder at first base, they would no longer need Adam Lind in Toronto.
So why not put two and two together and send Lind in a package for a pitcher?
Plenty of teams could use Lind's 26 home runs and 87 RBI from 2011, including the Chicago Cubs who are in need of a first baseman after letting Carlos Pena walk. The 28 year old Lind has a four-year contract worth $18 million with three club options tacked on to the end of it.
If the Blue Jays could add Garza, they would have another weapon in their arsenal as he has posted sub-4.00 ERAs since 2007 and has postseason experience. Plus, having played for the Rays, he is used to the tough competition in the American League East.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
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The Blue Jays have the money and it's now their turn to join the top ranks of the AL East. With the Yankees aging, the Red Sox undergoing major front office changes and the Rays' future always a bit uncertain because of their small market, the Blue Jays have a window here to do something special.
And it all starts with signing Prince Fielder.