The Texas Rangers continue to insist that they are not in on the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.
We here at Red Fever just don't buy that. And the odds just increased that the Rangers might have a shot to land the burly slugger to be their first baseman and hit in the middle of their already-potent lineup.
The Rangers insist they are set at first base with Mitch Moreland, and while Moreland is a serviceable big league first baseman and a guy that's easy to like, he's not a superstar. Fielder is.
Agents and executives alike are beginning to think that Fielder might be interested in signing a shorter-term deal, somewhere in the 3-4 year range, which would allow him to be free once again in the prime of his career.
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At just 27 years old, Fielder has a lot of good years left in him, and while the prevailing thought was that he would command a contract similar to the one Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels at the Winter Meetings (10 years, upwards of $250 million) that might not be the case anymore.
With the Rangers already financially committed to the yet-to-be-signed Yu Darvish, that is their top priority right now. But once the Rangers sign him in the next 2-3 weeks, if Fielder is still available on the market the Rangers could make a serious splash by bringing in the power-hitting lefty whose swing would be tailor-made for Rangers Ballpark and the short porch in right field.
Imagine needing to only commit for three years to Fielder, whose weight is a legitimate concern as far as his durability and longevity goes, while also landing Darvish. That would even the playing field on off-season moves with the rival Angels, and the Rangers were already a much better team before the Angels landed C.J. Wilson and Pujols during the Winter Meetings.
You might not have to imagine, because the rumor mill is saying it could very well be true. American League rotations would be shaking in their boots with the daunting task of facing what is already maybe the toughest lineup in baseball if Fielder were added to the mix.
To put it simply, it's going to be an interesting few weeks on the free agent front.