A Friday afternoon round-up of the latest on the biggest free agent still out there. How today’s acquisition of Anything Rizzo impacts the Cubs’ theoretical pursuit of Fielder is unknown, but I’d hazard a guess that it all but kills it. Still, the post has been written, so here it is…
- ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick discusses the many possibilities for Prince Fielder, and shares some colorful quotes from his agent, Scott Boras (“The January free-agent lifeboat is a welcome addition to prevent next season’s Titanic” – I’ll give you a moment to allow your eyes to roll forward again). On the subject of Prince’s next landing spot, Crasnick says, “You can’t count out the Cubs. But the available evidence suggests they’re engaged in a full-fledged, ground-floor rebuild that began with the trade of reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati and continued when they sent Carlos Zambrano packing to Miami. The consensus is that Epstein and Hoyer have done their homework and are lingering on the fringe of the Fielder sweepstakes, and that new manager Dale Sveum truly does have a fondness for Prince. But the Cubs aren’t going to do something exorbitant just to energize the fan base.” I’d say that’s the consensus opinion now, and one I’ve been espousing for months. The Cubs would consider signing Fielder, but only on their terms – which are probably shorter, and for less total money, than other teams are willing to offer.
- Crasnick quotes another GM who says, “I think Theo will let Fielder come to him, but he’s not going to beat the market on him. He’s not going to win a bidding war. It just doesn’t fit into the long-term plan they’re putting together.” Sounds about right. Crasnick lists the Nationals, Mariners, and Rangers (depending on what happens with the Yu Darvish negotiations) as other possibilities.
- Speaking of the Rangers, Jon Heyman says they’re hanging out in the Fielder negotiations, and would be even more likely to pounce if Darvish talks fall through.
- Heyman lists the Cubs as 8th most likely to sign Fielder, which is to say, very unlikely. His list is based only on tea leaf reading, and has the Nationals, Mariners, Brewers, “Mystery Team” (sigh), Marlins, Rangers, and Orioles ahead of the Cubs, in that order.
- Buster Olney says there is some skepticism in the Nationals’ front office about offering Fielder a long-term deal, despite their label as a front-runner. Ultimately, Olney says, it’s up to the owners.