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Tag:Prince Fielder
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:59 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:50 pm
 

Nats, as many as 7 others, shooting for Prince

The Washington Nationals, despite their early suggestions to the contrary, do appear to be deep in the mix for star free agent slugger Prince Fielder. They may even justifiably be seen as a favorite at this point. But with several other teams showing strong interest and as many as seven or eight others showing some level of interest, it may be a bit too early to declare them as “the’’ favorite.’’

Reading all the hints, suggestions and tea leaves (not to mention deciphering the requisite downplaying of many), here’s the way I see things as we head into what might be the final several days (in order of most likely to least).

  1. Nationals. One Nationals player told me last week they were “shooting for’ Fielder, and team officials have seemed to stop downplaying their involvement, as more snippets of interest have gotten out. The Nationals have done a lot of deals with agent Scott Boras and certainly aren’t about to let the $8 million left on Adam La Roche’s contract stand in the way.
  2. Mariners. GM Jack Zduriencik, who picked Fielder No. 1 when Zduriencik was scouting director in Milwaukee, loves Fielder. The feeling apparently is mutual. The one question is whether Fielder wants to play 3,000 miles from his Orlando, Fla. home and in a ballpark that isn’t conducive to home runs (though it’s better for lefthanded hitters than righties).
  3. Brewers. Milwaukee all but publicly wrote it off around the time they signed Aramis Ramirez. But owner Mark Attanasio has built the Brewers into a phenomenon in Milwaukee, and it’s also possible Ryan Braun’s surprise banned substance issue could intensify the interest in keeping Prince. It doesn’t appear Attanasio has dived in yet, but he’s a guy who hasn’t let the small market stop him in the past.
  4. Mystery team. I have no idea even if there is a mystery team. But let’s not overlook recent history. Cliff Lee and Albert Pujols wound up going to the mystery team after weeks of talks and speculation about anyone but the Phillies and Angels, respectively.
  5. Marlins. Some Marlins execs have said they are not going for Fielder. But others have suggested that at least some of their people are quite intrigued. One possible issue: they have a team policy not to give out no-trade clauses.
  6. Rangers. The Yu Darvish pickup (and everyone believes Darvish will be signed, for something just above Daisuke Matsuzaka’s $52-million deal) likely has lessened the possibility of Prince. The Rangers clearly are now focused on Darvish, and while they could possibly afford both thanks to their new TV deal, it might be seen as something of a stretch.
  7. Orioles. They have some interest and seem to have the spending money, but their recent history and prospects for the near future could make this one a tough sell.
  8. Cubs. Cubs people love the idea of adding a young slugger like Fielder to their needy lineup. But club officials have suggested they plan to limit offers to five years. That won’t get it done.
  9. Blue Jays. Like the Cubs, their people are hinting strongly that five years is their limit for anyone, even Prince.  Opinions can change, but they’d have to go a lot longer than five (at least eight) to get into the game.

 



Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:06 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:00 pm
 

'No real favorite'' in 5-team Garza derby


There is "no real favorite'' in the five-team Matt Garza sweepstakes, according to someone familiar with the talks.

The teams involved the derby for the 28-year-old Cubs righthander at this point are the Yankees, Blue Jays, Tigers, Red Sox and Marlins. With the Cubs seeking young pitchers, it would seem that the Yankees, Blue Jays and Tigers could hold an edge ultimately. The Yankees have Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, the Tigers Jacob Turner and the Blue Jays several well-regarded prospects at the lower levels. The Cubs are hoping to improve their young pitching stock, and Garza is the most marketable player they're willing to deal.

The Red Sox earlier named Garza, who went 10-10 with a 3.31 ERA in 2011, his only one with the Cubs, as a target in Theo Epstein compensation talks, but it's unclear wether the Cubs would even consider trying to solve the compensation issue while making a bigger Garza deal with Boston. They wouldn't surrender Garza straight-up for Epstein, and it's possible the Cubs would want to keep Garza and the compensation issues totally separate. The Red Sox don't have pitching prospects to match the Yankees or Blue Jays but do have hard-throwing righthander Anthony Ranaudo, who was drafted by Epstein, the new Cubs president.

The Cubs are obviously rebuilding but have been nonetheless tied to the Prince Fielder derby. A Cubs person suggested that while Fielder is the type of player they need, they aren't willing to pursue Fielder at all costs, a not unfamiliar refain for teams pursuing big-name free agents. 


Posted on: December 29, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:59 pm
 

Nats player: We are "shooting for" Prince

There's been a lot of discussion and debate lately about whether the improving Washington Nationals are one of the teams trying to sign free agent slugger Prince Fielder.

And while there's still nothing definitive on the subject, one Nats player told me Thursday, "We're in the market. We're still shooting for him.''

People can scoff at the validity of a player as a source, but this player did not hesitate and sure seemed to know what he was talking about. But who can be sure?

This has surely been a fairly mysterious market to this point. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, who just bolstered the rotation with the addition of young lefthader Gio Gonzalez, downplayed the Fielder chances in an interview Wednesday on MLB Network Radio, saying Adam LaRoche would be their first baseman barring something "extrordinary.''

To be precise, Rizzo said, "We've more or less decided Adam is going to be out first baseman unless something extraordinary, out of the ordinary, happens.'' LaRoche is to make $8 million in 2012 (plus he has a $1 million buyout on his 2013 salary).

If Rizzo is merely downplaying their genuine interest in Fielder as a way not to get fans' hopes up, he wouldn't be the first GM to do that. The Nationals have been considered among about eight teams -- the Rangers, Orioles, Mariners, Marlins, Cubs, Blue Jays and Brewers being the others -- to have some level of interest in the 27-year-old first baseman.

Fielder recently went on a tour of some of the interested teams, flying to a few points around the country. But it isn't known what teams, including the Nationals, were on the tour. Or whether a team that wasn't on the tour might jump into the mix.

Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:08 pm
 

Mariners, Nats, O's among teams eyeing Prince

Indications are the Mariners, Nationals and Orioles are among about a half-dozen teams still eyeing star free agent Prince Fielder.

The Fielder derby is heating up, as some teams have made offers or at least given an indication where they'd be willing to go monetarily for the slugger. The Cubs, Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins and incumbent Brewers also have been mentioned as possibilities for Prince.

The Mariners are one of the teams that's suggested their price range for Fielder, although it's unclear how serious Fielder might be about willing to play on the West Coast. Some close to the Florida product and longtime Brewer have suggested he'd prefer to stay in the East or Central time zones. Seattle is also said to have financial limitations and are believed unwilling to break their bank for any one player.

The Nationals have been keeping a low profile on their pursuit and it's unknown where they stand but signs suggest they do have Fielder on their radar. He isn't a perfect fit as they already have Mike Morse and Adam LaRoche for first base, though they could move Morse to the outfield and LaRoche is a small expense compared to Fielder.

The Orioles remain interested, according to a person with knowledge of their thinking. They may be geographically desirable to Fielder but it isn't known how their status as a rebuilding team might impact the player.

The Marlis remain a curiosity. Team president David Samson has suggested they lack interest, but owner Jeffrey Loria has give public quotes amounting to something along the lines of "we'll see.'' The Rangers are also believed to have interest even after winning the bid for star Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. The Cubs are said to interested but the status of their pursuit, and that of the Jays, remains unclear.

The Brewers have been painted as a long shot but they haven't given up all hope they could retain Fielder.

For more MLB news and rumors from Jon Heyman, follow @JonHeymanCBS.


Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 2:20 pm
 

Don't count out Rangers on Fielder

So now that the Rangers have bid $51.7 million on Yu Darvish, they have to be out of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, right?

Not necessarily.

The Rangers have always seemed on the periphery of the Fielder derby, but they still appear to be eyeing the top remaining free agent even after winning the Darvish auction and presumably targeting at least $100 million, and likely more, for the star 25-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Texas is a threat to win Fielder, too, provided that the Rangers are willing to make the financial commitment it would take, as it is a desirable landing spot with an already stacked lineup and fine hitting ballpark.

Texas had baseball’s third most productive offense last year, but would threaten to possess baseball’s best lineup with Fielder in it. The Fielder pursuit has been pretty quiet, but other teams believed to have some interest in Fielder include the Mariners, Nationals, Cubs, Orioles, Marlins and incumbent Brewers.

The Rangers have always liked Fielder, and it’s not known whether their interest has actually increased in response to the chief rival Angels landing superstar Albert Pujols and frontline pitcher C.J. Wilson, the ex-Ranger. The Angels’ two huge purchases, which occurred the same day at the Winter Meetings, surprised the Rangers and most of baseball and gave Los Angeles of Anaheim a resounding early offseason victory at a cost of $332.5 million.

Word is, Darvish is seeking a deal for about $75 million over five years, which would be on top of the $51.7 million posting fee Texas would be required to pay the Fighters should they sign him, as expected. If they were to pay Fielder, say $206 million, they’d top the Angels in expense for their two players.

The Rangers were not interested in Pujols but do like Fielder because he is only 27 years old and would fit into their star-studded lineup.  Texas is also trying to lock up several of their own stars, including Derek Holland, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

Signing Fielder would also give the Rangers some middle-of-the-order insurance against the possibility of losing Hamilton, who is eligible for free agency after next year. While the Rangers want to keep Hamilton, they want to do it with a shorter contract than he will likely want.

For more MLB news and rumors from Jon Heyman, follow @JonHeymanCBS.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com