And let’s all welcome Jon Heyman to CBSSports! Thrills!
But where might Fielder get that kind of coin? Here are the contenders (with odds):
1. Rangers: They aren’t even completely in the game yet, but if the Rangers get in, look out. They have a superb team, ridiculous lineup and a great hitters park, all attributes that could lure Fielder. But will they play for Prince? Rangers people have been suggesting all along that their focus is pitching and trades, but that may just be because they haven’t yet gotten approval from upper management to offer what it would take. Club president Nolan Ryan, who never wanted to go beyond five years for Cliff Lee, hasn’t seemed the type to consider deals of eight years or longer. But he did go big last year with a late-in-the-winter five-year, $80 million deal for third baseman Adrian Beltre, so there is precedent for a surprise. The lineup is already arguably the best in baseball, but first baseman Mitch Moreland didn’t exactly distinguish himself in the playoffs and has a wrist injury to boot. There is word the Rangers have talked about trades for Moreland, giving rise to more rumors. While this team is excellent as is, the Rangers might want to counter the Angels, who stole ex-Texas ace C.J. Wilson and now have four starters who are more accomplished and arguably better than any of the Rangers’ starters. The way to combat that is with bats. Well, here’s one. Odds: 3-1
2. Cubs: Fielder is exactly the kind of free agent new execs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would want in that he is only 27 and carries the potential to be a cleanup man and foundation player for years to come. Fielder loves hitting in Wrigley Field, which can’t hurt, and of course, everyone loves Chicago. The Cubs aren’t exactly poor, either. They just paid $18.5 million for Epstein. Odds: 4-1
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