UPDATE: Fielder has been declared medically disabled and is unfit to play, however he will not officially announce his retirement. While this suggests the ability to make a comeback later if he is able to rehab back, it’s also an important distinction because it leaves the Rangers on the hook for the guaranteed money remaining on Fielder’s contract. While Fielder is due $24 million annually for the next four seasons, it appears the Rangers will only be on the hook for $9 million of that. With the Tigers on the hook for $6 million per season, the Rangers have reportedly insured 50 percent of their commitment and will have the remaining $9 million covered.
Prince Fielder could be getting ready to announce his retirement shortly, according to a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The 32-year old underwent surgery for a herniated disk in his neck at the end of July. Fielder was expected to miss the remainder of the season recovering but the Rangers have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday.
This is the second time Fielder will have undergone a neck surgery. The once-elite first baseman/designated hitter was having the worst season of his career in 2016, and was slashing .212/.292/.334. Fielder is just three seasons removed from being traded by the Tigers for Ian Kinsler.
Sources: Prince Fielder’s career appears over. #Rangers expected to hold press conference tomorrow.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 9, 2016
For now, Mitch Moreland has been spending the most time covering first base while newcomer Carlos Beltran has managed designated hitting duties.
Despite retiring at just 32-years old, Fielder will leave a lasting legacy on the game. The six-time All Star won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award just last season. Although he has been known recently for being somewhat injury prone, Fielder was actually once an iron man streak holder, playing in 547 consecutive games. Perhaps most interestingly though, Fielder could finish his career with 319 career home runs—the same total as his father Cecil.