Indications are Prince Fielder has narrowed the field of teams in his derby to four or five, and the Nationals, Orioles and Rangers are believed to be among those teams. So he's down to a "final four'' (or so), if you will.
The other involved team or two aren't known, but an unpublicized team can't be ruled out. Under-the-radar pursuers, often dubbed the "mystery'' teams, have become prominent the past couple years, as both Cliff Lee and Albert Pujols wound up signing with such a team. The other teams connected to Fielder at one time or other have included the Mariners, Marlins, Blue Jays, Cubs and incumbent Brewers, but none of those teams has been seen as a favorite in recent days.
The Nationals have been seen as a favorite for weeks, though some people connected to the team say they are reluctant to give out an ultra long deal again, after signing Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126-million last winter. The Orioles, like their local rival, have seemed to downplay their interest. But their biggest issue may be luring Fielder with little immediate prospect of winning.
The Rangers, a team that came out of the woodwork to sign Adrian Beltre last winter, have suggested that they are "unlikely'' to sign Fielder based mostly on requests for a deal of eight to 10 years. They are clearly still involved after signing Yu Darvish. Though they don't seem likely to be the high bidder, they remain hopeful that a chance to be part of one of the game's great lineups will enhance their chances.