It's hard to imagine that anything's holding back the market for Prince Fielder at this point. Albert Pujols signed more than a month ago, Yu Darvish and the Rangers worked out a deal, and agent Scott Boras has taken the time to introduce Fielder to some MLB owners. It doesn't seem likely that a new suitor for the powerful free agent first baseman will emerge if Boras continues waiting, since the sale of the Dodgers won't be completed on time to convince the new ownership group of Fielder's value. We're left with rumors linking Fielder to the Nationals, Rangers, Mariners, Dodgers, Cubs and Orioles, but not much certainty. Here are the latest updates on Fielder, with the most recent notes up top:
- A Nationals source says he would be "stunned" to see the Nats give Fielder a contract for longer than seven years, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Kilgore also looks at some other recent contracts for slugging first basemen and predicts Fielder will receive a seven-year, $170MM deal with whatever team signs him.
- The Orioles haven't met with Boras and don't have a meeting scheduled, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets. There's some interest, depending on Boras' asking price, but Kubatko doesn't expect the Orioles to chase Fielder. "They're nowhere near being in position to sign him," he writes.
- One GM told Rosenthal that the Rangers are in on Fielder "hard," though others say the Rangers won't go heavy on years (Twitter link).
- The Orioles are "definitely in on" Fielder and there's plenty of motivation to sign him, Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio and MLB.com tweets. Duquette is a former Orioles GM who's the cousin of current GM Dan Duquette. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that interest from the Orioles and Nationals gives Boras leverage (Twitter link).
- The Nationals are a finalist for Fielder, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. The Rangers and at least one other club are still in the running for him.
- There's now "something close to a final four" for Fielder, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Rangers' management team is in the Dominican Republic for the next week, so it's doubtful the team will sign Fielder in the near future, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
- The Nationals continue to work on a deal for Fielder, but there was no agreement as of last night, tweets Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel repeats (on Twitter) that there's no deal at the moment.