Before we begin, let me preface this by saying that only one of these players could likely even be considered a free agent target by the Boston Red Sox. But with the awful collapse and total meltdown surrounding the Red Sox last month, I think we all need some time to dream about cool possibilities.
And really, bringing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to the Red Sox would be a cool possibility.
Both are free agents, both are at the top of their games and both will make a lot of money when they sign their next contracts. Fortunately for the Red Sox, they have a lot of money, which usually makes them contenders on top free agents (such as Carl Crawford or John Lackey....I made myself sad again).
But who would make more sense for the Red Sox? Let the debate begin.
First, you have to asses which one is the better player. Honestly, that question isn't really up for debate. It's Albert, hands down. Pujols is on pace to become one of baseball's greatest players ever. Through 11 seasons, Pujols has a .328 lifetime batting average with 445 home runs and 1,329 RBI. That's legendary stuff.
Fielder, on the other hand, isn't an average player by any means. He is definitely a top-tier player, but is one tier under Pujols' elite status. In seven seasons, Fielder has a.282 career batting average, 230 home runs and 656 RBI. Those are certainly great numbers, and given a little time, Fielder could be on par with Pujols' numbers.
So we know that Pujols is the better overall player, but who would work better with the Red Sox? There's one problem that presents itself right off the bat - the Boston Red Sox do not need a first baseman.
Remember Adrian Gonzalez? Yeah, he's pretty good. In his first season with the Red Sox, Gonzalez hit .338 with 27 home runs and 117 RBI. If Gonzo didn't hit a slump towards the end of the season, as did pretty much the entire team, his numbers could have been even better. Not to mention, Gonzalez is a great fielder, owning a .995 career fielding percentage while places him eighth among active players.
While a first baseman isn't needed, the Red Sox do have was they could get Pujols or Gonzalez in the lineup. David Ortiz, who has been the team's designated hitter since 2003, is a free agent and has expressed that he may not want to return to Boston for a 10th season. He also told the media that he wouldn't mind playing for the Yankees.
If Pujols or Fielder was willing to either be the designated hitter or split time between the DH spot and first base with Gonzalez, the it definitely could work out. In all likelihood, Pujols won't want to do that and would prefer to remain at first base until he absolutely has to become a DH or see less playing time. That means he's likely out of the mix.
However, Fielder has said that he wouldn't mind being a designated hitter, which makes the possibility of him coming to the Red Sox even greater. And at this point, it seems that Fielder would be the better for in Boston.
If Theo...I mean the new management...lets Ortiz walk and brings in Fielder, it could be a move that puts Boston back on top in a hurry. Fielder is younger than both Ortiz and Pujols and likely has many more years of productivity left than Ortiz does and a few more than Pujols does. A long term deal for Fielder would be a smart first move by the team's new general manager, likely Ben Cherington, that would rejuvenate the fan base and bring attention back to Yawkey Way.
While signing Pujols would be great, too, Fielder just makes more sense right now. If the Red Sox could make it happen, it would go a long ways towards making fans forget about September. I'm certainly in favor of it. Are you?