ARLINGTON, Texas -- Now that the Rangers and Yu Darvish have agreed to a new six-year contract worth approximately $60 million, all eyes turn to Prince Fielder in the free agent market.
Several sources told me this week that it was doubtful the club could sign both Darvish and Fielder, but not completely out of the question.
How involved the Rangers can get may come down to how the deal is structured. An 8- or 10-year deal won't work with the contracts already in hand. And it's unclear how big a raise they'll be handing to Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus, who are still unsigned as part of the arbitration process. But what about something in the 5- or 6-year range that includes the ability for either side to opt out after a three or four years?
Fielder interested the club enough that they met him last Friday at the Four Seasons Resort & Club to get a feel for where he is in the process. They got the feeling he wants to be in Texas (and why wouldn't he with the current lineup, the ballpark and the fact that the Rangers have gone to back-to-back World Series), but whether that means a creative deal can be worked out remains to be seen.
Let's also remember that while ownership has shown a willingness to pay big bucks (they also signed Adrian Beltre to a 5-year, $80 million deal with a $16 million option for a sixth year prior to 2010), the money doesn't just keep flowing in. So we'll see what happens.