It’s an interesting time to obsessively follow Prince Fielder rumors, given the knife’s edge the Cubs are currently walking (by which I mean rebuild, no rebuild (and what exactly the organization might mean by “rebuild”)). Still, by most accounts, the Cubs remain theoretically involved in the Fielder sweepstakes, but are clutching firmly to their position that, if Fielder wants to play on the Cubs, it’s a short-term deal, or no deal. We’ll see what happens…
- Buster Olney says the Cubs have been doing their diligence on Fielder, but reiterates what I’ve been saying for weeks on the Fielder front: the Cubs want Fielder, but only on their terms. A short-term deal, high annual value. Ten years is out of the question (as it should be).
- Jon Heyman still lists the Cubs as a suitor for Fielder, though he drops notes on several other teams. Heyman says offers are being floated, and lists a ton of teams in on Fielder, together with the Cubs, including the Mariners, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays, Rangers, Marlins, and Brewers. The inclusion of the last three, each of which is probably no longer a viable landing spot for Fielder, suggests to me that Heyman is simply listing every single team that has plausibly been connected to Fielder at any point this offseason.
- Heyman said separately that the Orioles are quietly pursuing Fielder, and the Mariners have made an offer. Seattle’s front office is said to love Fielder, but to be tight on cash.
- Bruce Levine believes the Cubs still have “a great shot” at Fielder, especially if he takes a shorter-term deal (I’d hazard a guess that, if Fielder is willing to take a five-year deal, the Cubs are the prohibitive favorite).
- Phil Rogers says he doesn’t believe the Cubs are actually in on Fielder anymore. The reason? The Cubs don’t want to block 29-year-old “prospect” Bryan LaHair. Sorry, Phil. Can’t go with you on that one. LaHair may wind up the Cubs’ first baseman next year, but only if all other plans fall through, and only if the Cubs have no plans on being even a .500 team in 2012.