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Prince Fielder press conference set for 4 p.m. Wednesday

The Rangers have a press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday with Prince Fielder

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Prince Fielder and the Texas Rangers are having a press conference at 4 p.m. Central Wednesday.  While there is no definitive word as to the announcement, multiple reports indicate that Prince Fielder has not been cleared by doctors to ever play baseball again after his second neck surgery, and it is anticipated the press conference is to announce that his career is over.

It is also being reported that this is a matter of his being physically not cleared to play, not a situation where he is voluntarily retiring.  As a result, the final $96 million he will be due from 2017-20, he would still collect.  The Rangers would, per reports, collect $9 million from insurance to subsidize the $18 million they will owe him each of those years.

The Rangers had already been planning on going without Prince for the remainder of 2016, but this news puts the Rangers in a situation where they will really need Joey Gallo to step up and take over the first base job in 2017.  Shin-Soo Choo would seem suited to take over at DH, with Nomar Mazara moving back to right field, but with Ian Desmond a free agent, there's no obvious candidate to take over in center field, and left field is also somewhat up in the air.  Though one does have to wonder whether the Rangers might see Jurickson Profar as a viable center field option if Desmond ends up leaving after the season...