According to sources over the weekend, Brewers' slugger Prince Fielder has narrowed his choices to the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays, as well as staying in Milwaukee.
Though Fielder is interested the Nationals, a team source told MLB.com he is not on the club's radar, as Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse still figure in Washington's plans.
It will be interesting if Fielder signs with Toronto. His father, Cecil, played with the Blue Jays in the 1980s, and it would an be enormous acquisition for the organization.
The Orioles are reportedly interested in Fielder, as well. However, Dan Duquette has said he won't get into a bidding war for the first baseman.
Fielder is expected to receive a long-term deal worth over $20 million annually. For many penny-pinching clubs, committing that much for one player is not sound strategy. However, the Nationals surprised many in baseball when they gave Jayson Werth a seven-year, $126 million contract last winter. There might be another team this winter that comes out of nowhere to sign Fielder the way Werth was signed.
What makes the pursuit of Fielder, as well as the pursuit of Albert Pujols, so interesting this winter is which clubs are not involved in the race. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies -- all clubs with enormous payrolls -- have no interest in either first base slugger, as all three clubs are well-covered at the position.
The Dodgers were expected to be in the market for a first baseman, but due to ownership issues Los Angeles didn't bother to make an offer to either Pujols and Fielder. Mainstay James Loney, who will make significantly less than those stars in 2012, figures to start Opening Day at first base.
Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins have shelled out for Jose Reyes and Heath Bell. Do the Marlins still have enough to add Fielder and Pujols?
An ESPN source said that Miami will make an offer to Pujols this week. The Marlins reportedly offered the slugger a nine-year offer for considerably less than the reported nine-year, $198-million deal he turned down from St. Louis last winter.
At the moment, Miami appears to be the only legitimate contender for Pujols's services.
According to FOX Sports, Fielder currently has more suitors than Pujols, and the Cardinals aren't believed to be among them. FOX included the Cubs, Mariners, and Rangers as teams that are interested in Fielder.