DALLAS -- Could Prince be the one who stays?
Remember, the assumption all along was that Albert Pujols was the guy who wasn't going anywhere, the guy who was destined to re-sign with the Cardinals. And perhaps he still will.
Prince Fielder was the guy on his way out the door, the guy who was going to get big offers that the Brewers were not going to match. And perhaps that's still true.
But Sunday, even as Pujols' future was in a little more doubt, with reports that the Marlins plan to strongly pursue him after signing Jose Reyes, there was a hint of optimism from Brewers people about their chances at keeping Fielder.
None of them were out and out predicting that Fielder will stay. They acknowledged that a huge offer elsewhere could be too much for them to match.
But the same guys who have been saying for months that it was the longest of longshots were now insisting it could happen, for two reasons.
One, the early market for Fielder doesn't seem to have exploded. Teams are interested, including the Mariners, the Nationals and possibly the Rangers or Cubs. But the indications so far have been that the market may not go crazy.
Second, Brewers people never discount the competitiveness and aggressiveness of owner Mark Attanasio. And Attanasio seems to be indicating that he wants to make a real effort to keep his star first baseman.
None of that means that Fielder will be back in Milwaukee. But for the first time in quite a while, it actually seems possible.