Obsessive Prince Fielder Watch: “You Can’t Count Out the Cubs” (UPDATE: Yeah, You Probably Can)

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.

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

69 responses to “Obsessive Prince Fielder Watch: “You Can’t Count Out the Cubs” (UPDATE: Yeah, You Probably Can)”

  1. Chicago Cubs Acquire Anthony Rizzo and Zach Cates for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox under Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, so their interest is, of course, understandable. Given his age and lack of success in the bigs last year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cubs let Bryan LaHair break camp as the Cubs’ starting first baseman, giving Rizzo additional time to develop at AAA. Otherwise, Rizzo is the Cubs’ starting first baseman right out of the gate, and, yes, almost certainly takes the Cubs out of the running for Prince Fielder. [...]

  2. aCubsfan

    I have said from the time I heard Pujols was going to the Angels that someone in the AL West…the Mariners were the best place for Fielder. One report on MLBTR said that some executives feel Fielder is playing himself into the DH position. His massive size makes it the most logical position for Fielder long term especially when Boras is demanding an 8-10 year contract.

  3. ogyu

    I suppose Boras knows his business, but if I were Fielder’s agent, I really think I would try to avoid ever using the term “Titanic” in connection with my client…

    1. Wilbur

      Great observation …

  4. Kevin

    I think options for Prince are limited, no way any team signs him for 8-10 years. Don’t be surprised he signs a one year deal with the Brewers.

  5. chris margetis

    This has probably been brought up before, but even with the Rizzo acquisition, doesn’t this just give the Cubs a more catbird seat if Prince’s years drop? Certainly if the price was right, they could sign him and easily spin off Rizzo could they not?

    1. Ian Afterbirth

      Interesting point.

      I don’t see why, if Prince’s years drop and we can get him for something “reasonable”,  that he still might be a valuable piece to acquire and not necessarily in conflict with a kid who isn’t likely to make the club for a couple of years. We could sign Fielder and when Rizzo is ready decide which move would be most beneficial for us – moving Prince or Rizzo. Theo’s all about acquiring pieces for the right prices and then using them to acquire other pieces down the road, right? We could still be dealing Fielder while his value is high.

  6. Sully777

    Don’t see this deal having spin. We all know this is a business; but there seems to something more to it with “Threeo” and Rizzo. There is an inter-relatedness between these guys starting in Boston; extending to the Hoyer/McLoud era in SD; and now with the four reuniting in Chi-Town. With all the Fielder speculation; the possibility of getting Sanchez from Florida; when it wouldn’t surprise me if getting Rizzo wasn’t the top priority all along(besides unloading Zambrano of course). Why Fielder for a few years at $25 mil or more when we are a few years away anyway-especially when we are going to eat a huge chunk of the remaining Soriano contract? Today was a big step forward for the organization-with hopefully much more to come…

    1. chris margetis

      Im not implying there was a spin to this deal. Just saying that if for some reason the Cubs perceived lack of interest in Fielder because of the deal were to somehow have an affect on his market and his years were to drop, I could see the Cubs still making an offer possibly with an opt out for him or turning Rizzo into more pitching prospects, as he is quite coveted by other teams.

  7. cubs r lost

    Ok so let’s fast forward to 2014/15 & let’s say that le hair an
    d rizzio don’t pan out to ever be Major league talent and the odds are against them to ever be. Buts let’s say they don’t work someone please tell me a big name free agent 1b men that is gonna be available for the cubs to get?

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Joey Votto.

    2. ferrets_bueller

      Joey Votto

    3. BetterNews

      Joey Votto.

    4. ferrets_bueller

      Votty Joeo

      1. BetterNews

        Your killing me!

  8. Rick Vaughn

    If Prince Fielders value keeps dropping, I would imagine he would have to accept a shorter contract with an opt-out clause after a couple years (like CC did in NY). So he might be available again.

    1. Jeff L

      I am 99 percent sure Rick that with the Rizzo trade the Cubs are out of the Fielder sweepstakes… Good for Ricketts he can save 25 mil a year and maybe build some additions to his mansions.

      1. Rick Vaughn

        The question was about available 1st basemen in 2014-2015 IF Rizzo doesn’t work out. I simply answered that Fielder could be available.

        Pay attention dumbass.

    2. BetterNews

      I am totally “shocked” by the Rizzo deal. What a trade! Again I hate to see Cash go, but I think Hendry would have dealt for Fielder had he been here.

      1. Jeff L

        Better I agree with you …. I think Hendry would have signed Fielder. If fortunes were different in 2003 there wouldn’t be some much hatred towards Henry. I liked that every year he went for it all. I think the Cubs fans deserve a winner year in and year out

  9. cubs r lost

    Because looking over big time stars that are proven winners I don’t see 1 that is going to be a free agent when u claim the cubs will be ready. So your wanting us to believe in a dream right? Not facts but on a maybe that these 2prospects maybe

  10. cubs r lost

    Jeff L. Make no mistake the Yankees could win the whole thing in 2012 and 2013the so yes it could work for them
    you don’t get special rings when you earn it versus when u buy it and after 103100 yrs I will take a bought one over this guessing model

    1. Jeff L

      Cubs r lost I completely agree with you… The Marlins proved that concept in 1997 and are trying to prove it this year. I also would take a bought championship over betting on prospects. A sure thing is always better than a coin toss.

  11. cubs r lost

    Bottom is on the verge of signing an extension so guess again

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Are you are talking to me about Votto?

      I personally haven’t heard any real rumors about this and it sure as hell hasn’t happened yet.

  12. cubs r lost

    Vaughn. Bores will get fielders contract this year and fielder will not be there. Bores is a proven winner for his clients. Dumb ass

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Hey dumb ass learn how to reply to peoples comments. And also learn how to spell Boras.

  13. Rick Vaughn

    It’s borAs, dumbass

  14. cubs r lost

    Maybe u should also pay attention to all Melbourne news and not just the cubs. Bottom is working on an extension and will never see a cubs uniform

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Why would I pay attention to Australian news?

      And his name is Votto.

      1. Rick Vaughn


  15. cubs r lost

    U kids get so cranky when someone tries to wake u up from your pipe dream.just like babysitter do…….. I need a laugh majorly can someone call epstien the goat slayer again…..

    1. ferrets_bueller

      Judging from your posts, there is only one ‘kid’ here.  Its most likely the person who speaks like one.  U r dum, dood!

      1. Rick Vaughn

        ferrets – don’t piss this kid off anymore, he might smack you “just like babysitter do……..”

  16. cubs r lost

    Ya my spell checker wont let me type it. Maybe it even knows he will never see a cubs uniform

  17. Cheryl

    Big names don’t always work out. After the name becomes well known and is at its peak there is bound to be some decline. I like Theo and Company’s approach. They’ve got LaHair to begin year and if he does well, they can keep Rizzo in the minors for a year or trade him. If LaHair isn’t the answer, Rizzo could step in, either way they;ve put a plug in the dike at first. I’m still waiting to see how the pitching works out. I would expect Sota to be traded soon and Soriano may yet find a home in the American League.

    1. Rick Vaughn

      I just watched the highlight of Soto’s reaction after Ozzie kicked his catcher’s mask last season. I’m not ready to see him traded yet. That look was priceless. Play of the year.

      1. Cheryl

        You may be right about Soto. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he was traded.

  18. cubs r lost

    Look at the last 25 yrs and it was done not to long ago and big name stars paid off more then prospects have 38% to 12%….. look it up and u kids will learn somethings
    So tell me kids when should the sports world see epstiens guessing game produce a series win? 14/15/16? Tell me Nostradamus

    1. Rick Vaughn

      I was thinking 15/16 personally. I’m cool with that.

    2. Brian Myers

      Ah, but tell me how many clubs picked up “a big star” and immediately won with no real talent surrounding them? The answer is none. Also making insults to a Cubs fan of 14 to 16 years until a World Series win is seriously idiotic, it’s been 105 years, we can wait a couple more.

    3. BetterNews

      Nostradamus? Are you kidding me kid?

  19. cubs r lost

    Well ferrets I will be around to see u losers and tell ya I told ya so….after 5100 yrs of losing rickets will be tired of the 2 losers and there guessing games and they will be gone… make sure you are around to swallow your medicine just like u do from your boyfriend….

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Wow, 5,100 years. That’s quite a long tenure.

      1. Rick Vaughn

        When you’re 11 years old, 100 years must seem like 5100.

        1. Jeff L

          Hey Vaughn is that what it seems like to you???

          1. Rick Vaughn

            Good one… yawn…

    2. BetterNews

      I hope you’re not going out tonight dope!

    3. Brian Myers

      But we have enough intelligence to use both punctuation and realize the difference between “there” and “their”. Perhaps there is no difference in 5100 years?

  20. cubs r lost

    I have waited long enough and if epstien was serious trying to win with a star I would be behind them but when u drag your feet like he is and are being cheap I can’t. Follow a loser. The gm of the angels was on the job 6 days and so don’t tell me epstien didn’t have time and in chicago spending 300 mil on pujols would have made the cubs an even billion over 10big yrs but epstien doesn’t want a winner. He wants a young kid to get good so he van pump his ego and when he put his ego in front of the cubs he is a loser

    1. Rick Vaughn

      We’ll see how the Angels feel about that deal when they’re paying a 40 year old Pujols $30+ million a year.


      1. Kansas Cubs Fan


      2. Jeff L

        Ill tell you what Vaughn if the Angels become champions in Pujols tenure I’m sure they will be happy to endure a 30 mil 40 year old.

        1. Rick Vaughn

          And if they don’t win?

        2. Kansas Cubs Fan

          The fans won’t.

    2. Brian Myers

      There is a difference. The Cubs have a loyal fan base, Wrigley Field and several players that are historically the face of the club. The Angels didn’t have that. They are making the gamble that they just purchased a reason to not only watch their games, but have a name to remember 20-40-60 years from now. Spending the money for the Cubs didn’t make long term sense. For the Angels they are hoping to buy an identity that isn’t Booby Grich, Mike Scioscia (as a manager), Nolan Ryan (whom most people forget was an Angel) or Tim Salmon.

  21. 2much2say

    The Cubs need a Power bat other than 1st. We need it from 2nd 3rd or LF
    Stewart may get us 20 HR Soriano will get us 25+. Currently, there are no solutions in free agency. If the Cubs went after Beltran the critics would have gone nuts.If we were looking for a vet like Soriano and got 3 yrs at 5 mil per we would be praising it. Vernon Wells or Soriano, who do you take?

  22. 2much2say

    Pujols at 40 for 30 mil let’s see he will have past the Babe and maybe Aaron on his way to passing Bonds and finally surpassing Arod in year 10 at age 41/42. The TV being interupted every at bat People paying double/triple for tickets in the OF just to have a chance to catch his milestone HR balls. Selling out TB Rays away games Yeah, Sucks to be the Angels

  23. JB

    I don’t know Charlie…I’ve got a guy on the other line that wants some white walls…I’ll talk to you later

  24. Kansas Cubs Fan

    You may run like Mays but you hit like shit.

    I love that damn movie.


    1. cubs4life

      great movie… cubs team is starting to look alot like that team, a bunch of unknown players that might just surprise us all..

      1. BetterNews

        We wouldn’t be surprised by the “old” team, that’s for sure.

    2. Rick Vaughn

      I’m hung over, my knees are killin’ me and if you’re going to pull this shit at least you could’ve said you were from the Yankees.

  25. Eric

    A lot of really bad spelling here. It’s kind of grating on the nerves watching 8 year olds pretend to be men. Not targetting anyone specific. :/

    1. BetterNews

      No sure what you mean by grating? Also asshole, it’s targeting!

  26. R.I.P. Santo

    How cool would it be if the Back To The Future II people get it right with 2015

  27. sam

    Lil theo army of tunnel rats always chasing the cheese . The cubs owner gave up and lil theo is your cheese

    1. BetterNews

      Sam is that you? Fly back to your “roost”..

  28. sam

    Im sure you be cozy holding a banana for LIL Theo