After the Angels signed Albert Pujols, I thought a lot about Prince Fielder. I was never really in on the big man, but from time to time my mind wondered what bringing him to Texas would mean for the division.
Anaheim signed both Pujols and CJ Wilson on the same day. It may have only been a coincidence that both deals came together during the Winter Meetings (which were in Dallas), but it was pretty obvious that the Angels felt pretty good about themselves. They wanted to make a splash and a splash was made.
Before long the Rangers answered with Yu Darvish, who is 5 years younger than CJ with a much higher ceiling. All eyes were on Fielder. Would the Rangers pull the trigger on a $200MM first baseman of their own?
Fortunately, when it comes to the Rangers, cooler heads always seem to prevail.
There are people inside and outside of the fanbase that look at Mitch Moreland at 1B as a nearly crippling deficiency. Most seemed to think that Prince Fielder was the answer, despite his health concerns, price tag, and less-than-stellar defense.
Keith Law wrote* that Moreland shouldn’t be considered a long-term solution at first, but on what timeline is he operating? Sure, Mitch may not man the position for two decades, but he can hold it down for the time being.
*In an article that I can’t actually read because I’m not an ESPN Insider Super-Gold Plus Member or whatever.
So many people want to treat real baseball like fantasy baseball, but very few teams can feature $20MM players at every position. Even the teams that do aren’t guaranteed to see October.
The Rangers tried that for almost a decade under Tom Hicks, but they eventually learned that playing the game that way doesn’t work. Signing Fielder for the sake of it would have been foolish and Texas will get on just fine without him.
Talent wise, this team may be the best that the Rangers have ever featured going into Spring Training. It’s an embarrassment of riches, really.
While first base may not provide 40 HRs and 120 RBIs, it can hardly be considered a hole. At most, we’ll call it a divot.
Press on, Rangers fans.
(You can find me on Twitter @BleacherSeatsTX.)