Prince Fielder has shortened his list of possible teams down to three, according to a report from CBSCleveland.com. The Milwaukee Brewers remain a possibility to re-sign Fielder, while the Texas Rangers are the second team Fielder is considering.
However, according to the report, the Blue Jays, led by GM Alex Anthopoulos, have pulled ahead in the Fielder sweepstakes.
With excess cash to spend, a young and improving squad, history with the Fielder family with Big Daddy Cecil Fielder once playing in Toronto, and of course, having Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie in the middle of the lineup, the Blue Jays offer Fielder a tempting situation to serve as the cleanup hitter.
Last season, Fielder hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI to go along with 107 walks. The combination of Fielder and Bautista would be lethal, evoking memories of the David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez dynamic duo in the middle of the lineup for the Boston Red Sox. This combination could be even better than that.
In seven major league seasons, Fielder has always hit over .250 and has always hit 25-plus home runs, something that current Jays first baseman Adam Lind cannot say.
While Lind likely has the better glove at first, it's Fielder's consistency and constant power threat that make him a perfect fit with this Jays lineup.
If the Jays do in fact sign Fielder, Lind would likely be dealt for either a starting pitcher or a second baseman, since the Jays are in need of both.
Another move to not discount is the Jays trading Lind for a closer. Oakland could use a first baseman, and supposedly their closer Andrew Bailey is available. Could the two be a match for a trade? That always remains a possibility.
What Would You Be Willing to Pay Fielder per Year.
Looking at the Jays lineup (projected) with Fielder:
Yunel Escobar SS
Eric Thames LF
Jose Bautista RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
JP Arencibia C
Second Baseman (Right now Luis Valbuena)
The winter meetings begin tomorrow morning, where the talk and rumors will likely begin to spread like a wildfire. The Jays are the team to watch by all accounts, as they will likely be hunting down a wild-card berth.
Who knows, if they get their guy, they may be hunting down a pennant.