Of course, any deal involving Prince Fielder is a big deal.
Is it me, or are a lot more big contracts being traded these days than they used to be? And, traded early on in the contract as well. Gonzalez and Crawford were dealt after a year and a half. Reyes lasted a year. Fielder lasted two. I know there are probably more big contracts being handed out lately, so the number is probably bigger just because of that. But, did it ever happen before. Mike Hampton? Mike Piazza? Not sure.
What does that mean? Are teams quicker to bail on mistakes? Is the news cycle shorter? Miami got all the press it could from Reyes, so they dumped him? Or, is rebuilding more acceptable? Some Red Sox fans were actually convinced trading away Crawford and Gonzalez was a good thing. Would they have ever bought that line ten years ago?
Whatever the reason, the Rangers find themselves with a new first baseman. The best part? It’s not Mike Napoli. Texas was supposed to be the main competition for the Red Sox over the bearded one’s services. Getting them out of the way is certainly a good thing for the Sox. Plus, it’s not like the Tigers find themselves with a void at first. They’ll just shift their two-time defending MVP over there to take that spot. So, even though the deal supposedly helped two AL playoff contenders, it probably works out for the Sox because it helps them out too.
The deal also increased Texas’s payroll. As one of the teams mentioned in the same sentence as Jacoby Ellsbury, that more good news for the Sox. Are the Rangers less likely to shell out the big money for Jacoby now? You’d think so. The fewer teams there are with money to spend, the more likely Ellsbury finds himself back in Boston.
Not a bad improvement from a deal the Red Sox didn’t even make.