11/29 Pujols or Fielder? It’s up to Theo
The Cubs are reportedly in contact with agents for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, and while chairman Tom Ricketts would not comment on either, he said it’s not out of the question that the team would offer a long-term deal to anyone. That call, Ricketts said, is up to Theo Epstein, the Cubs president of baseball operations.
The Cubs are currently saddled with Alfonso Soriano’s deal, which will pay him $54 million over the next three years, and at least one more year for Carlos Zambrano, who is owed $18 million in 2012. Those contracts were done under former GM Jim Hendry. Asked if the Cubs would offer a mega deal to another player, Ricketts deferred to Epstein.
“Like I’ve always said, there is one person responsible for making those decisions, and one person accountable for those results,” Ricketts said Tuesday. “So if [Epstein] believes strongly that’s what’s in the best interests of the team, then he’s got my support.”
According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, the Cubs have contacted Pujols agent to express their interest in the first baseman.
Crasnick said talks between the team and Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano are in the early stages. The Cardinals and Marlins are actively pursuing the three-time Most Valuable Player and nine-time All-Star. The Cardinals, Nationals and Marlins also are bidding for Pujols, and the Cubs’ alleged involvement may simply be one way to drive up his price.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi reported Tuesday the Cubs were interested in both Pujols and Fielder, a favorite of new manager Dale Sveum. FOX Sports said restrictions on amateur spending will make it more difficult to build through the Draft, something Epstein wants to do in Chicago, which is why they are pursuing Pujols and Fielder.
– Carrie Muskat