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Prince Fielder’s career is reportedly over

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Another career might be over to soon due to injuries and sudden ineffectiveness.

Division Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers - Game Four Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Prince Fielder recently underwent his second neck surgery since joining the Texas Rangers. That second procedure has sidelined him for the foreseeable future as a possible career ender, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Fielder’s career "appears over." Rosenthal clarified that Fielder isn't retiring, he's just been declared "medically disabled" and isn't allowed to play. There will be a press conference to announce Fielder's change in status on Wednesday.

Neck injuries are serious business, so seeing another herniated disc in need of surgical repair end a career isn’t a surprise. What is surprising here is that it was Fielder who was felled, given how, prior to joining the Rangers in 2014, he was one of the most reliably healthy players in baseball. On four occasions, he led the majors in games played with 162 while with the Brewers, and from 2006 through 2013 he averaged 160 games per season. Baseball is a hard game that is hard on its players.

If Fielder’s career is indeed over, then he’ll finish it as one of the better offensive first basemen of his generation. Fielder’s career line is .283/.382/.506 — good for a 134 OPS+, which ranks eighth among all hitters with at least 5,000 plate appearances between 2005 and 2016. He hit 319 homers — exactly the same number as his father, Cecil Fielder, who played from 1985 through 1998.

Fielder was owed another $96 million through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of that in each of the next four seasons and the Rangers handling the rest. As 2015 reminded, though, when Fielder was on the field and hitting, the Rangers would likely rather have a healthy version of Fielder in their lineup than have this money.

Were he retiring of his own volition, neither club would remain on the hook for his remaining salary. However, that doesn't appear to be the case. But because of his disabled status, he'll continue to collect the guaranteed monies owed him as his limitations aren't of his own choosing.