The Texas Rangers are expecting first baseman Prince Fielder to have neck surgery later this week, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. There has been the thought that the veteran slugger could avoid the procedure after his recent diagnosis of a herniated disk, but it’s more likely that Fielder is destined to go under the knife.
At this moment, details are unknown. The feel among people within the Rangers organization that Prince Fielder will more than likely be out for the rest of the season. It is not the first time that Prince Fielder will miss some time due to a neck procedure. He ended his 2014 season having a neck procedure done. However, he was able to bounce back quite well last season. 2016 has been a rather slow year for the veteran first baseman.
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If the Rangers end up losing the services of Prince Fielder for the remainder of the season, it won’t be that bad. He ended up struggling so bad this season. At one point, he was one of the more dangerous hitters in MLB, but over the last few years, he has declined.
Texas will have several people who can fill in for the future, including the expanding role of Jurickson Profar and, perhaps at some point giving minor league slugger Joey Gallow a full shot on the major league roster. Since the trade deadline is approaching quickly, there is a chance that the Texas Rangers could go out and add a hitter from outside the organization.
If you look at the long-term picture, it is unknown how much value is Prince Fielder’s monster contract has left. He is still on the books for $18MM annually over the next few years, even after the team ( the Tigers) that signed him kicks in $6MM per year. What hurts this contract, even more, is to see Ian Kinsler, the player for whom Fielder was dealt in a big- contract swap, putting up one of his best seasons as a big leaguer for the Detroit Tigers this season.