Roughly 14 months after the six-time All-Star announced that his playing career was over, the Rangers have released first baseman Prince Fielder.
Fielder, who hit .283/.382/.506 over 12 seasons with the Brewers, Tigers, and Rangers, walked away from baseball last August after undergoing a second spinal fusion. He’s being paid $18 million per season through 2020 and had remained on the Rangers’ roster since announcing that his career was over—he spent the entirety of the regular season on the 60-day disabled list—as the Rangers needed to keep him there in order to collect insurance payments on his contract. But the organization has now reached a settlement with the insurance company, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday, which made it feasible for the Rangers to release him.
Since there is no 60-day DL during the offseason, Fielder’s release frees up a 40-man roster spot that the Rangers otherwise wouldn’t have been able to utilize. That extra flexibility will be very helpful as Texas looks to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft this winter.