With all of the Prince Fielder-to- Nationals rumors that have been released over the past week, you may think we’ve finally found a clear-cut favorite in the Fielder sweepstakes. However, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports this may not be the case, as there are many as seven other clubs still showing interest in Fielder. Beyond that, Amanda Comak of The Washington Times is reporting that Nationals general manager has not changed his stance on Fielder since the Winter Meetings. Here are the latest Prince Fielder rumors.
At the Winter Meetings, Rizzo made it clear that the Nationals were prepared to enter the 2012 season with Adam LaRoche as their everyday first baseman. LaRoche has been productive in the past, and Washington still owes the veteran $9 million.
But come on, could, or more importantly should, LaRoche stop the Nationals from pursuing a slugger such as Fielder?
Many say no way.
Yesterday Buster Olney of ESPN took a look at the impact Fielder would have on the Nationals lineup and organization. On top of being a big draw, Olney believes Fielder could make the Nationals a legitimate contender in the National League.
Beyond the Nationals, Jon Heyman lists seven other clubs that have been tied to Fielder this offseason. In his article, Heyman updates the status of these clubs and their chances of bringing in Fielder. His list includes the Mariners, Brewers, Marlins, Rangers, Orioles, Cubs, Blue Jays and even a mystery team for good measure.
At this point, the Marlins, Brewers and Orioles appear to be long-shots. The Rangers have denied interest in Fielder as they pursue a contract agreement with Yu Darvish.
The Cubs and Blue Jays have been tied to Fielder frequently throughout the offseason, but are reportedly unlikely to go north of five years for Prince. In the words of Heyman, “that won’t get it done”.
That leaves the Mariners, a team Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is calling a “darkhorse” in the chase for Fielder. General manager Jack Zduriencik loves Prince, as he was the one to originally draft him, and some believe the Mariners may feel pressured to answer the larger moves made by the Angels and Rangers.
Still, the Mariners only won 67 games last season and it’s to be determined if Fielder wants to join a team so far from his Florida home.
At this point, after reviewing the list, it’s not really that surprising that many are speculating Fielder will eventually land with the Nationals.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.