In my wildest dreams, if I thought the Mariners were going to add an additional $100 million in payroll this year and going forward, I would’ve gladly welcomed them to spend $250 million of that on Prince Fielder for the next decade. However, if you’re talking about adding $100 million to your payroll, you’re essentially willing to put down Fuck You money on your 25-man roster (i.e. you’re able to say Fuck You to any player who eventually under-performs his contract due to age, fitness, or mental decline by replacing him with the next $250 million man that comes along in free agency).
Since it’s obvious the Mariners were never going to do that, then signing Prince Fielder for that much money is clinically insane. Having Fuck You money means you’re in control, and if the player wants to keep his position, he’s going to have to live up to the numbers that got him that much money in the first place. But, forking over a full quarter (or more) of your team’s salary to 1/25th of the roster essentially gives HIM all the power. It lets a guy like Prince Fielder slack off like he’s some naturally-gifted Babe Ruth who can turn it on whenever he wants.
I fully expect Prince Fielder, after this contract, to be on the DL no less than 5 times in the next 5 seasons. At least one time for something really serious that knocks him on the 60-day DL. After that, I expect him to bat no better than .250 for the remaining four seasons, with his home run and RBI production to decline every year (until eventually, in year 7 or 8, he’s traded for another team’s aging contract bust).
At this point, as a Mariner fan, who has suffered free agent bust after free agent bust, I would rather take my chances with the youth. If we’re not going to pony up the Fuck You money required to win big in the Majors, we might as well save our money and spend it on our up-and-coming prospects when they finally hit free agency. At least then, if they’re worth the big payday, we’ll know they can handle the confines of Safeco Field.
Believe you me, when Felix is up for a new deal in a few years, we’ll want to have all that cabbage we saved on a soon-to-be worthless Prince Fielder. Trust me.