I hate to add to the seemingly never-ending Prince Fielder discussion. I would venture to guess that 99 percent of it is pure speculation and rumor-mongering. Yet, it is now January 10th and I feel as if we are nearing a conclusion to this long-winded story.
Last week’s Fielder update was a story out of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Washington Nationals were now the frontrunners to sign the Brewers first baseman. Apparently Nationals’ team officials had a meeting with Scott Boras, the agent for Fielder, and Fielder was in the D.C. area.
I don’t know about any of you, but I take reports like this with about a pound of salt, nevermind the requisite grain. First of all, how do you think this reporter discovered that the Nationals and Boras were meeting? I don’t think it would surprise too many people if Boras himself publicized this with an “oh,-by-the-way” comment.
The other thing is Washington and Boras have a number of reasons to be talking to each other that don’t include Fielder. Boras, after all, has a number of clients and a couple of his more high-profile clients already play for the Nationals. I’m sure recent No. 1 picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper will ring a bell. He’s also the agent for Jaysen Werth, last year’s huge free agent signing.
So to take one small fact that the two parties had a discussion and immediately think they were talking about Fielder is jumping to conclusions. The fact is, there is no reason to believe that Washington is even remotely interested in Fielder.
Here we are a week later now, and still Fielder remains unsigned. Obviously Boras is holding out for additional teams to jump in the fray with the Texas Rangers being the most likely. The Rangers won the Yu Darvish posting sweepstakes last month with a $51.7 million bid. They were given a 30-day window to sign the Japanese pitcher and are down to their final days (January 18th is the deadline) in which they can agree to terms with Darvish before the posting fee is returned and Darvish is left to play in Japan for another season.
You would have to think that the Rangers are setting aside in excess of $100 million to sign Darvish with the posting fee included. If they suddenly find themselves with that $100 million in their pocket when January 19th rolls around, Fielder may have a hot new suitor.
At least that’s what Boras hopes.
But here’s the good news for Seattle fans. For one thing, it’s highly unlikely that Darvish and the Rangers don’t come to terms and for another, the Rangers were never interested in Fielder prior to winning the bid for Darvish and there is really no reason to believe that they would be after Darvish. Texas is looking to build its pitching, not hitting.
So while this isn’t any news on the Fielder front (which we are all hoping for), this isn’t rumor or speculation either. I report facts because I’m tired of listening to media reports that team A is possible interested and team b may be a front runner. All of it is just speculation by reporters who need something to write on. Considering I haven’t broached this topic in close to 40 days, I would say I have some credibility.