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The Cubs need to go after Prince Fielder.
The Cubs will have reservations about Prince's price tag, but Chicago ranked near the middle of the league in every offensive category. A team with great pitching might be able to get away with this, but certainly not the Cubs.
To make matters worse, division foes Milwaukee and St. Louis boast the best offenses in the league. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols are two of the greatest hitters in the game and would give a significant offensive boost to any team. Secondly, signing one of these two players also takes them away from a division rival. The Cubs simply cannot miss their chance to snag one of these hitters while it is possible to do so.
A second-tier free agent could not help the Cubs. Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer, for example, are hardly capable of turning the Cubs' offense around. This is not the time for patience—no matter who becomes available in the following years, it is not likely they will get much better than Fielder or Pujols.
Between the two, Epstein should shoot for Fielder. Pujols had an off-year last season, decreasing in average, RBI, home runs, and OBS. While it was still a great year by any account, a decrease in production is not a good sign when making a long-term deal.
In contrast, Fielder maintained his production and bested Pujols in home runs, RBI and OPS. Fielder is also younger and will probably cost less.