12/6 Sveum on Fielder, Pujols rumors
Dale Sveum has heard the rumors about the Cubs being linked to free agents Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder but he’s not penciling either in his early lineups.
“If they’re at HoHoKam [Park] at the beginning of Spring Training, that’s when you like to think more about that,” Sveum said Tuesday. “It’s obviously nice to be in an organization that can even mention their names to even think about them. They’re two great players.”
Sveum, taking his turn during the manager news conferences at the Hilton Anatole at the Winter Meetings, was in the process of finalizing his coaching staff. All that’s missing is a first base coach. So far, Rudy Jaramillo, Pat Listach and Lester Strode will return from the 2011 staff and be joined by pitching coach Chris Bosio and bench coach Jamie Quirk.
Also missing in the Cubs lineup is a big slugger as Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena are both gone via free agency. That’s why the Cubs have been linked to Pujols and Fielder. Sveum, who was the Brewers hitting coach before getting the managing job, would give the Cubs an edge in recruiting Fielder.
“He’s one of those special guys who comes around once in a while, once in a lifetime,” Sveum said of Fielder. “He should’ve played the game in the 1950s and ’60s and ’70s when guys played every day, they played as hard as they possibly could every single day. They cared about winning, they cared about their teammates. Prince is all those things. He’s one of those special guys.”
Sveum has heard the rumors linking the Cubs to Fielder, but said he’s not aware of any conversations.
“We’re not in any kind of process talking to him or anything like that,” he said.
How much of a force is Fielder?
“He’s an impact player who impacts the whole team,” Sveum said.
As for Pujols, Sveum is hoping the free agent finds a new team outside of the National League Central.
“I had to witness over the last six years what he could do,” Sveum said. “It’s pretty impressive. He’s definitely the best hitter in baseball right now. What he did in the playoffs and all that stuff speaks for itself. If he’s not with us, you hope he’s in another division.”
— Carrie Muskat