No, The Yankees Don't Need Prince Fielder

The list of needs starts well before well-paid designated hitters

There's long been a school of thought around some who follow the Yankees that held that every elite player in the league belonged in pinstripes.

It didn't matter if the team needed them or if they were overpriced, they belonged in the Bronx. It didn't matter if they were a poor fit for the city or too old to help the team so long as their names were known in every household.

Contrary to what some people believe, this hasn't been the operating principle of everybody that roots for the Yankees but there's definitely been a vocal minority that made this belief seem like it was as popular as an ice cream sundae on a hot summer day. John Harper of the Daily News made a bid to become the patron saint of that group on Wednesday. 

He used his column as a space to start a campaign to bring Prince Fielder to the team when he becomes a free agent later this year even though Mark Teixeira is already in place. His big reasons why are the short porch in right field, the fact that they signed Rafael Soriano and the star power that would ensure people keep flowing through the turnstiles in the years to come.

We can't argue with the first point. Fielder would have a grand time aiming his moonshots at the forgiving right field fence and he'd likely post numbers that make his father look like a singles hitter.

The Soriano thing is total nonsense, akin to arguing that a person robbing a convenience store might as well kill the clerk because you might as well be in for a pound instead of a penny. That was a bad move made out of desperation because the Yankees didn't get a guy they really needed, it has no bearing on a move for Fielder.

The final part of the argument makes absolutely no sense, however. Fielder isn't going to make the economy better nor is he going to make people who find the ticket prices too high change their minds.

Beyond that, fans fill the stadium because the Yankees win and the idea that signing Fielder will help them do that more than other moves is wrongheaded. His bat would be great, but in the years to come the Yankees will, at the very least, need a catcher if Jesus Montero continues to remain a myth, a right fielder, a shortstop and a third baseman.

It might surprise you to see third base on that list, but sometime during the course of a Fielder contract the Yankees will need to move A-Rod off of third and into a designated hitter role. That will be impossible with Fielder ensconced in the spot leaving the Yankees with either the most expensive platoon in history or an increasingly terrible third baseman who hurts the team as much as he helps them offensively.

On top of all that, the Yankees will always need to address pitching and it will be essential that they do so in the offseason to come. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are stopgaps and young pitchers like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances might not be ready.

Fielder is a luxury item for the Yankees. He is a tricked-out screening room for a house that leaks when it rains and shouldn't be any more a part of the Yankees plans for next season than Javier Vazquez 3.0.

It actually could have been worse. Harper could have espoused signing Albert Pujols and tried to make it seem reasonable by pointing out that he occasionally plays third, thus solving the A-Rod conundrum in delusional minds everywhere.

Should have kept quiet about that. Now we'll hear how the Yankees should sign them both.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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