12/8 Boras on Prince, Pena
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Prince Fielder, downplayed what has seemed like a slow market for the 27-year-old slugger. Boras says teams with new GMs want to be thorough in what they do.
“When you’re talking about franchise commitments, they have to report to ownership as result of our meetings and get back with me on that,” Boras said late Wednesday at the Winter Meetings. “This is a negotiation that is really one of its own because he’s 27 years old. He has a different place in the market, and the demands on his services are broader because you have teams that are not as playoff-ready that are interested [and] you have clubs that are veteran that are interested. You have a whole variety of teams that are involved.”
The Brewers are still part of the process, Boras said, which means Cubs fans may not have seen the last of the first baseman.
“He’s had great success there, he enjoys his teammates, so certainly it’s a consideration,” Boras said.
What about the Cubs? New manager Dale Sveum was Fielder’s hitting coach in Milwaukee and has raved about the first baseman. The Cubs need a first baseman. Have they shown interest? Boras said to “ask the Cubs.”
“I think any team that wants to get better” will inquire on Fielder, Boras said. “Whether they’re a younger team or a veteran team or a team that wants to win now, there are not many teams not in need of a core player like this. There’s a few that aren’t, obviously, but most are certainly going to want to look into the situation.”
The Cubs are in more of a retooling mode right now under Theo Epstein & Co. Fielder has told Boras he’ll consider everything.
“Those are things that Prince and I need to talk about. He asked me to take an open view here and collect information from every club,” Boras said. “I didn’t meet with too many teams that said they thought they were three years away. That’s not something you hear too often.”
Any geographic preference?
“I just think he likes fences that are close to home plate,” Boras said. “That’s the geographics he likes.”
That would put Wrigley Field in the mix.
Boras also represents Carlos Pena, now on the market after declining the Cubs’ offer of arbitration.
“We’ve got interest on him, and I think that interest will increase as the other first basemen sign,” Boras said. “He certainly is a guy who is in the upper tier because he has power and he is such a good defender and held up by the teams to be good for his leadership and a good locker room guy.”
— Carrie Muskat