Prince Fielder sat back and watched several high-profile players impact his free agent market this offseason. Now, after stars such as Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and C.J. Wilson have found new homes, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Fielder market may be impacted by a player that’s still two years away from free agency. Rosenthal hears that the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs may forgo signing Fielder in order to wait for potential free agent first baseman Joey Votto.
Rosenthal spoke with a major league executive who told him that the Cubs and Blue Jays “might prefer to hold off” on Fielder, “knowing Votto will be free” in two years. The executive speculates that a major acquisition such as Fielder or Votto would be more appealing to the Blue Jays and Cubs at this time, as both clubs are expected to be “stronger”.
It’s hard to say what type of impact, if any, a potential free agent two years removed from hitting the market could have on a player such as Fielder. There’s no guarantee that Votto will hit the open market, and baseball executives such as Cubs president Theo Epstein have noted that sluggers of Fielder and Votto’s caliber are unlikely to come available very frequently in the future.
While it’s true that Votto’s free agent timeline could fall inline better for teams like the Cubs and Blue Jays, the Reds first baseman is actually older than Fielder. Teams do have to consider Fielder’s weight issues, but again, Votto isn’t a sure thing to hit the market. Even if the Reds don’t sign Votto long-term, he could still be traded before he hits free agency and another club could lock him up.
I’m not really seeing the correlation between Votto and Fielder, other than they are both amazing sluggers who could potentially sign monster free agent deals.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.