NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Cecil Fielder is introduced during The New York Yankees 65th Old Timers Day game on June 26, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Everyone who has an opinion is being asked to share it, but as many people have pointed out only a very few people really know what's going on... Washington Nationals' team president Stan Kasten offered his opinion on the rumors about Prince Fielder possibly landing in the nation's capital in an interview on SN590 the FAN in Toronto earlier this week. Former Nats' GM Jim Bowden talked about what he's heard about the negotiations he says are taking place between the Nationals and the 27-year-old slugger's agent Scott Boras this afternoon on the MLB Network Radio show Inside Pitch. Thursday night, Fielder's own father, former major leaguer Cecil Fielder too spoke about his son's future and where he thinks Prince might end up playing in 2012.
The 48-year-old veteran of 13 MLB seasons spent with the Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, LA Angels and Cleveland Indians appeared on SN590 the FAN in Toronto's Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown where he was asked if he knew where Prince would end up signing this winter? The elder Fielder explained that he and his son are once again communicating and he told him he, "... would like to see [Prince] in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform," but doesn't think that will happen. Asked if the chatter tying Prince to Washington was real, Fielder said, "It ain't real until it's done. That's the way I look at it. Everybody can talk. Talk is cheap until you get in there and say you're going to make a deal."
"That's the way you've got to look at it ," Cecil said, "and I think that's the way [Prince] and his agent, Scott Boras are looking at it. Everybody's talking the game but somebody's got to walk the walk. Until that happens... He's wide open. So, that last minute person can come in there and make something happen. You just never know in negotiations or being a free agent how that's going to take place." Cecil said he wouldn't recommend one league over another to his son, saying it doesn't matter either way, "... if you can hit, you're going to hit," but he did say it's important to, "... go with the right fit."
"You've got an opportunity now as a free agent to pick a team that you want to play for," the 27-year-old slugger's father explained, "and you need to pick the right fit. Meaning that you've got to see who's in the lineup, you've got to check out the whole team. You don't want to go to a team that you're going to have to wait five, six years to try to have a chance to win. You want to be able to go in right now and make a difference. And I think if you look at some of those teams that have been inquiring, the Nationals are definitely one of those teams. The Texas Rangers would be definitely one of those teams. You know, the Blue Jays, on their way up, that would be a great team to go sit in the lineup with him and [Jose] Bautista."
The hosts and Fielder ran out of time and couldn't finish their discussion...
(ed. note - "Cecil Fielder reportedly spoke about the rumors again tonight at an event in Toronto. If he says anything different there, we'll pass it along.")
• FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, in an article entitled, "Nats show interest in Fielder, Cespedes", wrote about the Washington Nationals' Hot Stove plans in late-November before the Winter Meetings. "The Nationals are showing serious interest in Fielder," the bow-tied FOXSports.com reporter noted, before adding that if the Nats can't land Fielder, they, "... view Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes as a potential Plan B, according to major-league sources." Florida Sun Sentinel writer Mike Bernadino, in an article entitled, "Yoenis Cespedes could be the next Miami Marlins target", wrote yesterday that when the bidding process for the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder starts, teams will submit sealed bids to his agent through MLB. Teams will then have a chance to increase their offers according to the report, and the Sun Sentinel writer suggested that, "The latest speculation has Cespedes seeking up to a six- to-eight-year deal for as much as $6 million to $8 million per year."
"That could push the total package to nearly $65 million," Mr. Bernadino wrote, "which likely would eliminate the Marlins from the process." In a post entitled, "Cespedes still on Marlins' radar" on his "Fish Pond" blog Friday, however, MLB.com writer Joe Frisaro wrote that though, "... it was believed Cespedes was seeking an eight-year deal worth more than $60 million," as the bidding period approaches (Mr. Frisaro estimates Cespedes could be available by 1/15), "Several teams have backed away from that number, and a source said Cespedes’ cost appears to be coming down,":
"More realistic numbers are four years in the $32 million range, the source said."
If the Nationals are unable to reach an agreement with Prince Fielder, are they still determined to go after the hard-hitting Cuban outfielder? Is a 4-year deal at $8M per for a player some think might need more time in the minors at 26 too big a risk for the Nationals who have Bryce Harper on his way up and Jayson Werth and Michael Morse already penciled into the outfield? With Cespedes soon to be available, and the Texas Rangers' deadline to sign Yu Darvish scheduled for three days after Cespedes' rumored date, the next week or two should go a long way in deciding where some of the big names still out there will be playing in 2012.
• BTW: Chicago Tribune writer Phil Rogers says, "... the Cubs definitely are going to be in the mix to sign one of the two Cuban center fielders, Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler," this winter. MLive.com's James Schmehl wrote tonight, in an article entitled, "Tigers' target Yoenis Cespedes reportedly nearing residency, free agency", that Detroit's interested in Cespedes too along with the Yankees, White Sox, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins.