Free agent 1B Fielder visits with Rangers Friday
Posted on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM
DALLAS (AP) — Free agent slugger Prince Fielder was in Texas on Friday to talk with the two-time American League champion Rangers.
The visit by Fielder comes at the same time the Rangers are in the closing stages of their 30-day negotiating window with Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.
Fielder's visit to Texas on Friday was first reported by USA Today.
Fielder was there to meet with Rangers officials, according to the person familiar with his situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the discussions weren't meant to be public.
The 27-year-old first baseman made $15.55 million last season with Milwaukee, including a $50,000 bonus for starting the All-Star game, after signing a record single-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player last January. He hit .299 with 38 homers and 120 RBIs as the Brewers won the NL Central for its first division title since 1982, when they were still in the AL.
A first-round pick by the Brewers in 2002, Fielder became the youngest player in big league history to hit 50 homers in a season when he did it in 2007, and he's appeared in all but one of Milwaukee's games over the last three years.
Mitch Moreland, who also played in the outfield, started 99 games at first base for Texas last season, his second with the Rangers. He hit .259 with 16 homers in 134 games overall while dealing with right wrist soreness that required offseason surgery. Michael Young started 36 games at first base and Mike Napoli 35.
The Rangers last month bid a record $51.7 million under the posting system to win the right to negotiate with the 25-year-old Darvish. Their negotiating period ends Wednesday at 4 p.m. CST. The Rangers pay the posting fee only if they sign the 6-foot-5 pitcher.
Rangers President and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan said Thursday night that he was impressed by his first meeting with Darvish, when the pitcher visited Texas last week. Ryan also expressed optimism of getting a contract done by the deadline.
Ryan gave no indication of any pending meetings with Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report from New York.