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.