13 January 2012

Where Will Prince Fielder Sign?

The Winter Meetings have long been over and the MLB Hot Stove has died down a little but one thing still remains; Prince Fielder is a free agent. Arguably the second best player in free agency this offseason, Fielder has yet to sign the monstrous deal he should, and will, get. So where will he sign?
One of the earliest front runners in the Fielder sweepstakes were the Chicago Cubs but they may have taken themselves out of the mix by trading for Anthony Rizzo from the San Diego Padres and who they think is their first baseman of the future. Unless they want to block Rizzo for years at first or try to convert him to another position, Fielder won't be playing first base at Wrigley.
The Seattle Mariners have the money to acquire Fielder but they are still in a rebuilding faze and have young, and cheap, talent at first base already in Mike Carp and Justin Smoak. And even if they were interested in Fiedler, apparently they have not made an offer, would Fielder want to be in a rebuilding situation in a division with two top contenders in the two-time defending AL champs Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who made two huge signings this offseason? Probably not unless he really wants the money.
Texas could be a fit but they already have a young talent in Mitch Moreland that they like and if they spend the money to acquire Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish probably will be spent out.
The Toronto Blue Jays have money to spend and while Adam Lind is a fine first baseman he is no Fielder but they also have Lind on the cheap and are still a step behind the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East, which may turn off Fielder.
The Washington Nationals make a lot of sense. They weren't very good in 2011 but they do have Stephen Strasburg returning from injury, Bryce Harper is on the way, Ryan Zimmerman is a great third baseman and Mike Morse was a solid find. They have a hole at first with currently Adam LaRoche manning the spot and he was injured for much of last year. Ownership has money to spend, a new TV deal is on the horizon. the Nats play in a pretty new ballpark in a big market, and even though attendance is very weak it should rise once the Nationals stop sucking. Bt a source of MLB.com's Bill Ladson says there is a 99 percent chance that Washington will not sign Fielder because they don't want to give him a contract comparable to the one Albert Pujols got from the Angels, 10 years, $240 million, as well as concerns about his weight and the fact he may be a DH in a few years, in their eyes.
The Dodgers are trying to find new ownership and still have money woes. Next offseason would make more sense for them in all likelihood, which ties into my next point.
Or Fielder could return to Milwaukee. Apparently they offered Fielder's camp a one year deal which would put him place to get a massive contract from the Dodgers next offseason. But Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, showed no interest.
So here we are, no fit for Fielder without any potential issues. Where he will sign remains a mystery and with spring training not that far away, the pressure could be increasing.

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