Rangers release injury-plagued Fielder
Prince Fielder, whose playing career has, for all intents and purposes, been over for more than a year because of chronic neck problems, was officially released by the Texas Rangers.
Speculation following Fielder's release on Wednesday focused on how much of the money remaining on the 33-year-old's guaranteed contract the Rangers would pay and potentially how much was coveredÂ by insurance, the total being negotiated to a lower amount.
According to reports, the six-time MLB All-Star been paid $24million per season the past four campaigns in Texas, despite not playing in 2017 and being limited to 89 games in 2016 and 42 in 2014, when he underwent neck surgery.
A three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Fielder was due to be paid another $72mÂ from 2018-20.
For all that, Fielder had only one relatively injury-free season for the Rangers, 2015, when he battedÂ .305/.378/.463 with 23 home runs and 98 RBIs, primarily as a DH.
Those numbers earned him American League (AL) Comeback Player of the Year honours and were in line with whatÂ Rangers hoped for when they acquired him from the Detroit Tigers for second baseman Ian Kinsler before the 2014 season.
Detroit were so eager to offload Fielder and his monster deal negotiated by late owner Mike Ilitch, in fact, that, pending resolution of it at his release this week,Â they are still on the hook for a quarter of what he will be paid moving forward.
Fielder played 12 seasons with three teams after debuting for the Milwaukee Brewers, accumulating 319 home runs and 1,028 RBIs while batting .283/.382/.506.
In an unrelated move, the Rangers alsoÂ announcedÂ that they have exercised their option for 2019 on manager Jeff Banister.