ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 14: Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on during batting practice against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 14, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Reports out of Texas this morning say the Rangers' meeting with Prince Fielder was a, "... 'very preliminary' step in potential contract negotiations," as Dallas Morning News' writer Evan P. Grant quoted Rangers president Nolan Ryan stating Saturday in an article entitled, "Nolan Ryan calls meeting with Prince Fielder very preliminary." The Hall of Fame pitcher and Rangers executive, GM Jon Daniels, Asst. GM Thad Levine and manager Ron Washington reportedly met with the 27-year-old slugger after, "Boras requested Friday's meeting with the Rangers," according to another Dallas Morning News' blog post entitled, "Sources: Rangers met with Prince Fielder, agent Scott Boras on Friday."
Chicago Cubs' skipper Dale Sveum said the Cubs weren't going to sign the 27-year-old slugger this afternoon in a Q&A with fans. ESPN.com's Sahadev Sharma, in an article entitled, "Dale Sveum: No Prince Fielder for Cubs", quoted the new Cubs' skipper saying, "'There haven't been any discussions with us for Prince, that's just not going to happen.'" Florida Sun-Sentinel writer Juan C. Rodriguez quoted a source Thursday night in an article entitled, "Miami Marlins have not changed stance on Fielder; Cepedes remains top target", who told him the Fish weren't pursuing the free agent first baseman. There's no word on whether or not the Seattle Mariners are still interested in Fielder after last night's deal with the Yankees.
The Rangers and Marlins were two of the teams MLB.com's writer Bill Ladson's sources told him were in the mix for Fielder, in an article tonight entitled, "Nats still in running to land free-agent Fielder", in which he quoted an "industry source" who said he/she, "... believes that the Nationals want to give Fielder a six- or seven-year deal," and are willing to offer the Milwaukee Brewers' '02 1st Round pick a no-trade clause. The MLB.com Nats beat writer also noted that another source told him the Nationals are out of market for soon-to-be-free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes since the Nats, "... believe that Cespedes is best suited as a corner outfielder," rather than the center fielder they need/want.
Yoenis Cespedes offered a list of six teams yesterday he said had shown interest in signing the outfielder, who's currently not-impressing as a DH with Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League. Is the relative lack on interest in Prince Fielder what's leading Scott Boras to seek out interest from teams like the Texas Rangers? Are the Washington Nationals the only serious suitors in the market for the HR-hitting, high-OBP, heavyweight slugger? The 6-7-year deal MLB.com's Mr. Ladson wrote about today is similar to the sort of deal ESPN.com's Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) said last night on Twitter interested teams were hoping would work:
"One exec today believes WAS, TEX, CHC may ultimately get this Fielder contract structure: 6 years, opt-out after 3 years, 22-24m a year."
Another week of rumors is over. Wednesday's deadline for the Rangers to sign 25-year-old Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters' right-hander Yu Darvish is seen as an important date in the Fielder negotiations as it might eliminate the last non-Nats option for Fielder and Boras before the inevitable mystery team emerges. Nolan Ryan told ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett that he was surprised how big Yu Darvish was after the pitcher visited Texas recently. After meeting with Prince Fielder last night, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Tom Haudricourt (@Haudricourt) tweeted that the, "Rangers reportedly were impressed with how trim Fielder was during Fri meeting. Good time to ease worries about body going forward." If Fielder isn't a fit in Texas, he'll fit in just right hitting between Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse in D.C.