We’ve reached the week before Christmas, and Prince Fielder remains a free agent. While rumors have swirled around the hefty first baseman, Fielder’s future club hasn’t become much clearer than when the offseason began. As fallout of the Mat Latos trade, Anthony Rizzo joins the market of available first baseman. While the Cubs are one of Fielder’s suitors known to be interested in Rizzo, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says there are still “plenty of other” clubs targeting Prince this offseason.
The Cubs have been tied to Fielder this offseason, but many doubt if Chicago is ready to spend the type of money a Prince signing would require. Now that the Padres have acquired Yonder Alonso in exchange for starting pitcher Mat Latos, first base prospect Anthony Rizzo is viewed as expendable.
While Alonso and Rizzo could certainly coexist with the Padres, San Diego may be more interested in dealing Rizzo to bolster its roster elsewhere.
Enter the Cubs.
Chicago, who’s been seeking a first baseman this offseason, has all kinds of ties to Rizzo. President Theo Epstein drafted Rizzo and general manager Jed Hoyer traded for the first baseman in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.
Rizzo also presents the Cubs with a far less expensive alternative to Fielder.
Not only would Chicago have interest in Rizzo, but the Padres reportedly covet a certain Cubs pitcher that is rumored to be available this winter. The Padres would reportedly consider shipping Rizzo to Wrigley in a package that would net San Diego starting pitcher Matt Garza.
So, how would this impact the Prince Fielder market?
According to Heyman, it wouldn’t have as great of an impact as some would think. While the Cubs have been named as one of the front-runners in the Fielder sweepstakes, Heyman says that five or six other clubs are “in” on Prince.
We’ve seen several clubs listed as the favorites to sign Fielder this winter, including the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners. Beyond these clubs, the Nationals, Orioles, Blue Jays, Marlins and Brewers have also been linked to Fielder this offseason.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.