As recently as a few weeks ago many thought Milwaukee Brewers free agent first baseman Prince Fielder would be headed just a bit south to play for the Chicago Cubs. In fact, once Albert Pujols signed his monster deal with the Los Angeles Angels, it looked like the Cubs were set to make a big offer to Fielder.
Now apparently things have shifted and while at least six teams are in on Fielder, the Cubs appear to be on the outside looking in and don’t seem interested in being involved any further. Fielder is apparently looking for a 10-year deal similar to the contract the Angels gave Pujols, and while the Cubs like Fielder, they are not willing to give that much time or money to the 27-year-old All-Star.
The Seattle Mariners have already made an offer to Fielder and they are apparently the leaders for his services at the moment. Meanwhile the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals are also said to be interested in the free agent market’s biggest remaining prize.
The Cubs have apparently done some serious background work on Fielder and the team’s new regime has no interest in investing a big-time deal into him the way the old regime did with Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster. Those contracts have seriously hampered the franchise and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are fully aware of the damage a big deal for Fielder could do if he didn’t live up to it.
So for all those Cubs fans who expected Epstein and Hoyer to immediately make some big, bold moves when they took over the franchise, it might be time to lower those expectations a bit. They are clearly playing for the long-haul, not looking to make an immediate, flashy impact.