Prince Fielder Free Agent News: 10 Surprise Destinations for the Superstar
Prince Fielder is one of the marquee free agents in this year's class. He is making some teams feel more comfortable about going after Albert Pujols, since if they are unable to land him, Fielder is a great consolation prize.
That being said, he is of course far better than a consolation prize. He has established himself as one of the best power-hitting first basemen in the game in recent years and he is looking for a long-term deal.
Some front-runner teams are obvious, such as the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners. Other teams in the fold could be a bigger surprise.
Where could he land besides the places that he is typically being sent? Here are 10 options.
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This sounds ridiculous on the surface. After all, why would Prince Fielder go to Japan when he has a huge deal likely waiting for him in the states?
Well, Japan is where father Cecil became a big-time hitter, and after a stint there, perhaps Prince would come back better than ever. The odds of this happening are probably zero, but it would definitely be a surprise.
9. Cleveland Indians
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As a small-market team, the Indians definitely do not have the payroll to bring in a guy like Prince Fielder. That being said, he fits an ideal need at first base as someone who can hit for some power and be a spark in the middle of the lineup.
The Indians would be more likely to look at lower cost options such as Carlos Pena, but when you have a glaring need, it needs to be looked at despite the cost.
8. St. Louis Cardinals
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The only reason the Cardinals would be looking at Prince Fielder at all is if Albert Pujols ended up signing elsewhere. I still think he will remain there, but if he does leave, then Fielder would make an ideal addition.
The Cardinals have a good amount of money wrapped up over the next couple seasons, so the deal may have to be a bit heavy towards the end of the contract. If they're fine with it, then it fits well, so long as Fielder likes the new management.
7. Minnesota Twins
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With the departure of Jim Thome and the uncertainty of Justin Morneau, the Twins may have an opening for a first baseman who could play some DH. If they want to fill that void, then Fielder is a great fit.
Fielder would not have too much trouble in Target Field, and there's no way the Twins will be as bad as they were in 2011, but they will be focusing on pitching this offseason, and as a result it would be a huge surprise if Fielder landed in the AL Central.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
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The Toronto Blue Jays strike me as a team that will take the power players where they can rather than small-ball players, and Fielder fits this perfectly.
Combining Prince Fielder with Jose Bautista would make for a very dangerous lineup.
Adam Lind has emerged as a great first baseman for the Blue Jays, so they don't really need to jump in and acquire Fielder, especially since Fielder may want a longer deal than Toronto wants to give.
Still, it would help Toronto compete in the AL East.
5. Milwaukee Brewers
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After Prince Fielder signed a one-year deal with the Brewers last year, I'm sure many fans didn't hold out hope for him staying beyond 2011, especially since the Brewers likely don't have the money.
Were money not an option, you know that Milwaukee would do whatever it could to bring Fielder back. The lineup of Fielder, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and others was very productive, and one that I know I would like to see continue.
4. Washington Nationals
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On the surface, this doesn't seem very realistic, as Mike Morse turned into a great option at first base this past season. However, the Nationals are not one to shy away from a marquee free agent regardless of need.
Despite the fact that they have other issues to tackle, it would not be too far off for them to pick up Fielder, since they do need hitting help.
3. Baltimore Orioles
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The Baltimore Orioles badly need pitching first and foremost, and they do have some decent power hitters in the lineup.
Why would they be interested in Prince Fielder then?
They have enough money to do so, and putting Fielder in Baltimore would add a star and bring some fans in. It's not a big need, which would make the addition a shock, but there has been a rumbling here or there about adding him in.
2. Texas Rangers
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The Texas Rangers already have one of the most potent lineups in the league, so adding Prince Fielder in would make it practically ridiculous.
That being said, first base is a bit of a weak spot, as I'm far from a Mitch Moreland fan.
While Texas should be focusing on pitching, not only would Fielder be a great addition, but Rangers Ballpark in Arlington would be the perfect stadium for him. He would have little trouble even hitting 50 home runs.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
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The Dodgers signed Matt Kemp to a huge contract, so the Dodgers don't have all that much money to toss around. What makes one think that they can sign Prince Fielder?
Simply put, it's tough to underestimate a new owner. Whoever picks up the Dodgers may feel like they have something to prove, and what better way to do so than add a star like Prince Fielder into the lineup.
If nothing else, it could make them that much better in the NL West.