Valuing Prince Fielder

Buster Onley ($) has a piece this morning in which he discusses the potential free-agent valuePrince Fielder after his agent Scott Boras made some comparisons to Mark Teixeira. Olney points to the Fielder in the living room when making such comparisons, and notes that several MLB insiders feel his weight is going to prevent him from aging as gracefully as most players. Fielder is so heavy that it’s hard to know what to expect. I think he will ultimately be a DH, and this may keep him in the game longer.

Yet despite his weight, which many talent evaluators thought would keep him from excelling at all, he has been an elite and valuable hitter. If he ages like the average players (possibly a dubious assumption, but it’s hard to know what to expect) and signs a five-year deal (equivalent in length to Ryan Howard‘s extension) after the 2011 season, I estimate the value of the deal in total dollars paid out would be $104 million, or a little under $21 million per year. It’s not quite Teixeira money, but it’s in the neighborhood. Concerns about his weight, justified or not, will probably prevent him from signing a deal this long, but I guess we’ll just have to “weight” and see.

4 Responses “Valuing Prince Fielder”

  1. Jon Williams says:

    Because of the risk involved I think he’s a player that can only get a full valued contract from one of the huge money teams. The Red Sox, Yankees, and a precious few others are the only squads that can afford to both sign Fielder and absorb whatever part of it ends up being a mistake.

  2. Jesse G. says:

    I think his weight is obviously an issue but I wonder whether there is data on the long-term effects of weight on performance as players age that factors in other measures of fitness? I say this because Prince Fielder has always seemed much more fit than many prior “large” sluggers, certainly moreso than his father.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Two words: Mo Vaughn

    “Almost immediately, he signed a six-year, $80-million deal with the Anaheim Angels, the highest contract in the game at that time.” And in that six year contract, he managed to play 466 games, the last one with an OPS+ of 73.

  4. JC says:

    Dale Murphy collapsed around the same age and he wasn’t overweight. I don’t believe weight isn’t a factor, I just don’t know how big of a factor it is.

    I would suspect that a good comp is his father, and he didn’t age all that gracefully.