Prince Fielder has been released by the Texas Rangers, more than 15 months after playing his last game and still owed about $72 million over the next three seasons.
The Rangers reached a settlement with the company that insured the contract. General manager Jon Daniels said Wednesday that he couldn't discuss details, but it allowed the team to release Fielder and free up a spot on its 40-man roster.
“There’s not really a financial impact,” Daniels said, according to the Star-Telegram. “In the off-season, there is no 60-day DL. We got to the point where we were comfortable with the circumstances where we effectively were able to get that roster spot back.”
Fielder had to quit playing in July 2016 after his second cervical fusion in his neck in just over two years. He didn't formally retire, and the Rangers had kept him on the roster to receive disability insurance payments that covered part of his salary.
Texas during the season had Fielder on the 60-day disabled list, which doesn't count against the roster limit. But there is no 60-day DL during the offseason, and he would have had to go back on the 40-man roster again like he was last winter.
Fielder got a $214 million, nine-year contract in 2012 from Detroit, which traded him to Texas after two seasons. The Tigers owed Texas $6 million this year, and another $6 million in 2018, and $7 million in each of the following two years. The Rangers are responsible for the remainder.