IN 2012 AFTER A PRODUCTIVE BUT NOT AN AWARD WINNING YEAR, PRINCE FIELDER signed for $214,000,000. He was just short of 28 yrs old, and the contract was for 9 years. It was the biggest, fattest contract in Major League Baseball at the time. It was also a massive gamble. Fielder was never a good position player – he was an adequate First Baseman with an above average, average with good power… but even at 28 when athletes are usually in their prime, he was gaining weight.
Detroit unloaded him and his contract to the Texas Rangers the next year and now, to the surprise of no one with an ounce of honesty, Fielder’s body has broken down. I thought at the time that his body type and weight would prove to be his enemy and that he would never make it to the end of his 9 year contract – and he didn’t. Now the Rangers will be sending a $24,000,0000 check to Fielder every year for the next 5 years. DEAD MONEY is money that clubs pay for people they no long play. Sometimes its guys traded to another team or guys who could no longer play – like Fielder. DEAD MONEY was the big fat Elephant in the room during the news conference, a massive dead rotting mess that the Rangers will, literally, be paying for for the next 5 years.
While playing under his mega-deal he got 649 hits. That cals out to $326,656 per hit.
It was an overvalued deal 4 years ago, and its a really, really bad deal today. Well, not for Fielder who five years from now will still be getting a 24 million dollar check to sit on his couch.