For us men, the term "shrinkage" is a term that sends shivers up our spines. There's nothing worse than spending quite some time in the water and then getting changed, looking down, and feeling that sense of shame. It's a moment that we have all been in and a moment that has challenged our machismo.
Well, I have no idea if Prince Fielder has spent any time in the water recently, but he is suffering from shrinkage in a different way. And despite the differences, the results of the shrinkage are the same.
He is suffering from a shrinking market.
When the free agency period began, Fielder was penciled in as the second best hitter on the market after Albert Pujols. He was hoping for a mega-payday.
But with the events over the past couple of weeks, it looks like the market for Fielder is shrinking and shrinking. Even today, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal said talk between Fielder and the Washington Nationals have hit a "roadblock."
Rosenthal didn't elaborate as to what that "roadblock" was, but what if that was a major roadblock and they can't get a deal done? Where does Fielder go from there? His options seem limited at this point.
The Texas Rangers (the team I thought Fielder would end up with) already said they are out on Fielder. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox don't have any interest, so his hopes of receiving a mega-contract was dealt a crushing blow. The Chicago Cubs, a team that seemed like the logical landing spot for Fielder, are dangling Carlos Marmol and Matt Garza, so it doesn't look like they are going to invest big bucks in Fielder. And the Los Angeles Dodgers are a mess and over the weekend, GM Ned Coletti said he is going to commit to James Loney at first base in 2012 (that sound you just heard was every Dodger fan just throwing up in their mouth).
That leaves teams like the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, or maybe the Seattle Mariners as potential suitors. And while those teams have a need at first base, none of those teams have shown an interest in Fielder -- at least not yet.
I am just wondering with this declining market, is there an opportunity for Fielder to return to Milwaukee? If a deal with the Nationals doesn't work out (his best option to receive a mega-deal), then would Fielder be best served by signing a five-year, $100 million contract with the Brewers?
A contract like that might be a little below market value for him now, but not by much and what that contract does is take him to the age of 33 after which Fielder can still sign another four or five year contract.
It will be interesting to see how the market for Fielder plays out. But right now, it doesn't appear as great as we all initially thought.