SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — When a grounder ricocheted off Prince Fielder’s mitt during his first workout with the Texas Rangers, he quickly held it up and proclaimed with a smile, “It’s new.”
So much is new this spring for the All-Star slugger. He’s in Arizona for spring training, not Florida. He has a No. 84 on the back of his uniform, not No. 28. And he is on a new team.
“It felt good. It was a lot of fun,” Fielder said. “Nice easy day, I had a lot of fun meeting my new teammates. So yeah, I’m excited.”
Fielder joined other veteran Rangers players on the field for more than an hour Wednesday, taking grounders and some batting practice on the day before the first official full-squad workout. It was also the first day in camp for shortstop Elvis Andrus, who was also part of the session.
After cutting off his dreadlocks during the offseason and going through some mixed martial arts workouts, Fielder appears trim. Asked he if had lost any weight, Fielder chuckled and said he didn’t know for sure since he doesn’t allow any scales in his house.
“I feel great. Lost a couple of pounds cutting the hair, so that helps,” he said. “I just want to be athletic and not carry around so much weight. ... I have no idea what it is, but I think I lost something. I definitely lost something.”
The Rangers acquired Fielder from Detroit in November in exchange for All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler.
CINCINNATI: Starter Homer Bailey agreed to a $105 million, six-year contract on Wednesday that avoids arbitration and will help the Cincinnati Reds with their cash flow by deferring some of the salary for short periods. The deal includes a $25 million mutual option for 2020 with a $5 million buyout.