Obsessive Prince Fielder Watch: Source Says the Cubs Are “Stepping Up Their Pursuit”

In a report that may or not be related to the ongoing wait for the winner of the Yu Darvish post, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says that there were signs today that the Chicago Cubs were stepping up their pursuit of Prince Fielder.

Crasnick says he can’t go into details, but suggests that the Cubs are poised to make a serious push for Fielder soon, and are gathering more information.

What exactly that means – if anything – is hard to pinpoint. The Cubs have been “in on” Fielder for some time, but I’ve been told that interest was limited to a short-term (i.e., five or fewer years), high annual dollar contract (i.e., $25 million per year). Does “stepping up pursuit” mean more years? More dollars?

As to why Crasnick might not be able to share “the signs” leading him to believe the Cubs might be so stepping, I can only speculate. Perhaps a source asked Crasnick not share that part of the story. Perhaps Crasnick caught wind of a meeting between Cubs brass and Scott Boras, but Crasnick doesn’t know the subject of the meeting. Rumor season really leaves you wondering, eh?

How this reportedly increased pursuit relates to and/or impacts the Yu Darvish bid is similarly unknown. On the one hand, you could argue that the Cubs have been informed that they lost the bid, and are now quickly moving to put those dollars to use elsewhere. On the other hand, it is just as plausible that the Cubs have been informed that they won the bid, and are now quickly moving into “win now” mode, and want to pick up a big bat to pair with the future Darvish signing.

The point of this post is not to overload you with unanswerable questions. Instead, the point is merely (a) to pass along the Crasnick report, and (b) to note, at this exemplary moment, the speculative nature of the rumor season. It can become silly, even as it remains a whole lot of fun.

A final thought: even if the Cubs are “stepping up their pursuit” of Fielder, there is nothing to preclude Fielder’s many other suitors from doing the same.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

141 responses to “Obsessive Prince Fielder Watch: Source Says the Cubs Are “Stepping Up Their Pursuit””

  1. Jason"Thundermug"

    Scott Boras is playing a game he’s bringing up teams interested to drive up the price for Fielder. I think Theo and Jed are playing a game too telling one source they are in heavy pursuit for Fielder and tell another source that they aren’t interested in Fielder.

    It’s just a big chess game but I totally can’t stand Boras he always take the highest offer even though his clients may be happier elsewhere for a little less.

  2. Jason

    Boras doesn’t take any offers…..his clients do…..if they choose to accept the largest offer, that’s their right. He may be counseling them to do so, but they can still do whatever they choose to do. In fact, they could have chosen him as their agent knowing that was their intention all along and he was the best man for the job.

  3. hogie

    If there are any Bears fans here, we lost another offensive guy!

    1. BetterNews

      Big Bears fan! But were are done. Well done!

      1. hogie

        Yeah, I guess that was true with or without this latest blow, huh!

    2. NL_Cubs

      Might have lost more Bears players if any of them are on the list of other NFL players found by the Feds. Ruh-Roh.

      1. hogie

        Did I hear it right, was it 50 kilos of coke and half a ton of pot a week that Hurd said he wanted for distribution?!

        1. Cubbie Blues

          The report i heard was that he wanted 5-10 kilos of cocaine a week and 1000 lbs of marijuana. He was given 1 kilos of cocaine and placed it in his car. That is when the Home Land Security Agent arrested him. He was already getting 4 kilos a week but it wasn’t enough. He had a burn phone for Mexico as well.

          1. MC2

            That’s what we get for bringing former Cowboys into the mix, too bad it wasn’t the other Cowboy receiver we wasted money on. Maybe we will get lucky and find out Mike Martz is the mastermind… …

          2. hogie

            Yeah, that’s what I read, I heard the other amount on the loose cannons on FSR. I guess that is what I get for listening to those dopes. Man I wish my town had ESPN radio.

            1. CubFan Paul

              nobex radio companion..

              1. hogie

                College student + family + mortgage = no smart phone

      2. BetterNews

        Yes

  4. Levo

    They said he was trying to buy in Houston over the summer before they signed him! I swear if we get one more washed up Dallas player on the Bears……..first Roy Williams, Marion Barber now this waste………ugh.

  5. die hard

    Here is first draft of Petition…comments welcome on tweaking into final draft

    IN RE PETITION AS TO BOYCOTT OF ALL CUBS GAMES HOME AND AWAY

    Whereas, the Cubs owe $54 million of Soriano’s salary
    Whereas, the Cubs intend to trade or cut Soriano and absorb all or most of his salary
    Whereas, the Cubs may raise ticket prices

    Now, therefore, the undersigned hereby petition the Cubs to keep Soriano for the duration of his contract or trade him but not absorb more than 20% of his salary as part of any trade and in the event he is traded and more than 20% is absorbed or he is cut to then not raise ticket prices for the term of his existing contract. In the event the foregoing Petition is denied, the undersigned hereby boycott all games, home and away, for the duration of his existing contract.

    Submitted by the following this ______ day of _________ 2011

    __________________
    Die Hard

    _________________
    Name
    __________________
    Name

    1. BetterNews

      Here is first draft of Petition…comments welcome on tweaking into final draft

      IN RE PETITION AS TO BOYCOTT OF ALL CUBS GAMES HOME AND AWAY

      Whereas, the Cubs owe $54 million of Soriano’s salary
      Whereas, the Cubs intend to trade or cut Soriano and absorb all or most of his salary
      Whereas, the Cubs may raise ticket prices

      Now, therefore, the undersigned hereby petition the Cubs to keep Soriano for the duration of his contract or trade him but not absorb more than 20% of his salary as part of any trade and in the event he is traded and more than 20% is absorbed or he is cut to then not raise ticket prices for the term of his existing contract. In the event the foregoing Petition is denied, the undersigned hereby boycott all games, home and away, for the duration of his existing contract.

      Submitted by the following this ______ day of _________ 2011

      Better News

      1. Dougy D

        Here is first draft of Petition…comments welcome on tweaking into final draft

        IN RE PETITION AS TO BOYCOTT OF ALL CUBS GAMES HOME AND AWAY

        Whereas, the Cubs owe $54 million of Soriano’s salary
        Whereas, the Cubs intend to trade or cut Soriano and absorb all or most of his salary
        Whereas, the Cubs may raise ticket prices

        Now, therefore, the undersigned hereby petition the Cubs to keep Soriano for the duration of his contract or trade him but not absorb more than 20% of his salary as part of any trade and in the event he is traded and more than 20% is absorbed or he is cut to then not raise ticket prices for the term of his existing contract. In the event the foregoing Petition is denied, the undersigned hereby boycott all games, home and away, for the duration of his existing contract.

        Submitted by the following this ___15___ day of ___December______ 2011

        Dougy D

        1. JulioZuleta

          If you’re not cubs fans go to another site and stop annoying everyone, its been long enough

          1. CubFan Paul

            they left me speechless

            1. SweetJamesJones

              Is this real life?

          2. die hard

            you dont get it…we are more Cub fan than most as we bleed cubby blue…as a result we want the best for the Cubs and would die for a WS…hence, we reserve the right to question each move and demand straight talk from the front office…we have stopped drinking the kool-aid a long time ago… a true Cub fan wouldnt shill for the front office..instead would scrutinize each move…there is still time and hope…wean off the kool-aid for a few days and will be out of your system…you can do it…hang in there…

      2. Rick Vaughn

        You guys are totally fake life, right? I think we’ve been had. Slow claps all around. Kudos. Now, back to reality.

  6. Lou Cub

    Nick Cafardo, echoing Peter Gammons on the Cubs not having the money to afford Prince…This from the same ass clown who suggested the Cubs give up Starlin Castro as compensation for Theo…I don’t buy that bull as far as I can kick Cafardo’s fat ass!! Lets get i done Theo

    1. kubphan82

      There’s something “special” about those Boston reporters… Ha… They’re probably the reason Theo&Co were able to “play everything close.” Are they the only ones in the loop, because of prior experience with Theo? Or are they just as outside the loop as ever, but want to dupe people into believing they ever knew anything that went on?

      Whether or not we sign Prince, it doesn’t validate those “special” reporters.

  7. Daniel Guerra

    I wonder if Fielder would take a pay cut to be with the Cubs? I think not!

  8. Adam

    hear about teams “back-loading” contracts all the time, but rarely, if ever hear about teams front-loading contracts. I’d definitely love the Cubs (or Rangers) to go after Fielder if they can get a somewhat favorable contract, if that’s even possible with a Boras client.

    Why not offer Fielder around 8 years, $200M and front load it at around $28M for a few years, and then tail it off to end around $20M in year 8 when he is still only 34? He’d still be averaging $25M per season for the life of the contract, which is more than fair in my mind. That way you’re at least mitigating some of the risk that his size could hamper his production and mobility down the road, sooner than alot of players. Also, if he’s making less later in the contract, he could still POSSIBLY be traded to an AL team to DH, if it comes to that. As far as monetary advantages to Fielder, he gets the advantage of the time-value of money, assuming he has someone “wisely” managing his money.

    1. ferrets_bueller

      I’d much rather structure it (8 yrs, 180 million)

      27 (27)

      27 (28)

      27 (29)

      27 (30)

      27 (31)

      20 (32)

      15 (33)

      10 (34)

      I fully expect him to hit the wall at 31 or 32 (most likely 32).  At that point, he won’t be getting as much money, and will be easier to roster as a result.  Also, at that time his defense will be in decline- and the lower salary will make him much easier to trade to an AL team to DH.