I had some increased, and a touch irrational, hope that the Mariners would still prevail in signing Prince Fielder to a reasonable contract. He's a good bat but his market appeared to be severely and quickly drying up. However, what I was more interested in was the signal that such a signing would send. Having Justin Smoak, Prince Fielder, Jesus Montero and Mike Carp all on the same team would possibly force the team into an offense-heavy line up that would be exciting in the way that disregarding your preset and tested sailing route in order to get a better view of an island and damn any probably-totally-not-harmful rocks potentially in the way would be exciting.
Not at that price though. Nooooooo. I'll have to check when the full details become public but the money is close enough that it's conceivable that Prince Fielder is, in terms of real (i.e. adjusted for expected inflation) dollars, going to be paid the same or more than Albert Pujols will over 90% of the contract length. I never believed that Fielder was going to come at a bargain, but wow.
With Seattle's payroll currently well below last year's mark, few big money targets left and a still-present thirst for a big push for offense, there are going to be fans angry that the Tigers, not the Mariners, are the team to ink Fielder. Some will claim that the Mariners could have made this contract work. If those people are willing to listen, I say that I sympathize, but beware of speculating based on what Fielder signed for. We just don't know that Fielder would have signed with Seattle at the same price. Or if he would have signed here at any price for that matter.
There's a rumor that he didn't want to sign here, but rumors are just rumors. That Fielder wouldn't want to sign here was always a possibility, whether the media speculated on it or not. Of course, the trade for Jesus Montero appeared to make the Mariners much less likely to pursue Prince Fielder even if he were open to the idea. Instead, it's the Tigers that get the talented bat, but have to deal with the defensive fallout. I was initially disappointed that he didn't sign with the Nationals for the chance of some entertaining Mike Morse in left field GIFs, but based on other rumblings, we'll get the joy of Miguel Cabrera back at third base GIFs instead. Hooray!
Like Jeff and others, I don't have an idea where the Mariners put their remaining offseason money, however much that is. One consideration I hadn't yet seen mentioned is that for the third season in four, the Mariners have a top three pick in the MLB draft. Those picks are not cheap to sign so perhaps some of the slush money is going to end up there. I hope it goes somewhere to make the team better. I still believe that it will.