Results tagged ‘ Prince Fielder ’

1/24 Prince Fielder to Tigers

Prince Fielder has agreed to terms with the Tigers on a nine-year, $214 million deal, which means he’s out of the NL Central. But, he’ll be back at Wrigley Field on June 12-14 for Interleague games against the Cubs. Wrigley is one of his favorite places to hit. In 49 games there, Fielder batted .298 with 11 home runs and 15 doubles.

– Carrie Muskat

1/14 Sveum: The plan is to win now

How will new Cubs manager Dale Sveum deal with a player who doesn’t hustle or run out a ball?

“They’re going to be held accountable,” Sveum said Saturday at the Cubs Convention. “It’s not going to be OK. They won’t be able to walk past me in the dugout.”

Sveum then said to the fan who asked, “It obviously bothers you.”

“Yes,” the fan said. “It bothers you, too, Bob.”

Brenly was the emcee for the Q&A with Sveum and his coaches, and has been critical of lackadaisical play on his TV broadcasts.

“A little bit,” Brenly said, smirking.

* Sveum has talked to several of the core players at length, and also met some of the Cubs at a mini camp in Mesa, Ariz., in the first week of January. David DeJesus, Ian Stewart and Marlon Byrd were among the players who worked out with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo at that time.

Sveum said he was impressed at how quickly Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer filled their wish list. In two months, they added more depth to the starting pitching with Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm, they added future left-hander power with Anthony Rizzo, and became more athletic with DeJesus and Stewart.

He also dismissed talk that the Cubs are rebuilding.

“The plan is to win right now,” Sveum said. “The long-term plan starts right now. We’re not rebuilding, we’re building.”

* Rumors connecting the Cubs to free agent Prince Fielder wouldn’t go away. A fan asked Sveum about the possibility the Brewers first baseman could be reunited with his former hitting coach.

“It’s just not going to happen,” Sveum said about Fielder coming to the Cubs. “We have Bryan LaHair and Rizzo waiting in the wings.”

– Carrie Muskat

12/18 Could Rizzo be 1B of future?

Forget Prince Fielder. Maybe the Cubs’ first baseman of the future is Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo was a sixth-round pick in 2007 by the Red Sox — and Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were in Boston’s front office at that time. In December 2010, he was dealt to the Padres in the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez deal. Now, Rizzo, 22, finds himself No. 3 or 4 on the Padres’ depth chart at first base after a major deal Saturday between the Padres and Reds. The Padres acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso, pitcher Edinson Volquez and Minor Leaguers Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger in exchange for pitcher Mat Latos. Latos joins Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake in the Reds rotation. Reds GM Walt Jocketty says they still plan on using Aroldis Chapman as a starter, although that could change.

This year, Rizzo batted .452 with six homers in his first 15 games and was eventually called up to the Padres in June, and batted .143 in 35 games. He was then recalled in September and finished with a .141 average in 49 games. At Triple-A Tucson, he hit .331 with 26 homers and 101 RBIs. Rizzo and Tony Campana have something in common, as Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May 2008 and was successfully treated with chemotherapy. McLeod once said Rizzo has the best makeup of any player he’s ever drafted.

On Saturday, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio tweeted that the Padres have some interest in acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs in a package that would include Rizzo. The problem with a Padres-Cubs deal involving Garza is that the right-hander is under team control for two more years, and if the Cubs were to move him, they’d expect a lot in return — similar to what the Reds gave up to get Latos. Epstein has said Garza is the type of pitcher to build around.

Or, the Cubs could give Bryan LaHair the first base job. LaHair hit a two-run homer, his 10th, in Magallanes’ 8-0 win over Caribes on Saturday in Venezuelan Winter League play.

– Carrie Muskat

12/16 Sveum on Prince: “It’s the media talking”

Cubs manager Dale Sveum hasn’t been asked to recruit free agent Prince Fielder and denied that the team was involved in the free agent slugger.

“At this point, I think it’s a lot of media talking more than us doing anything,” Sveum said Friday. “We haven’t had any talks with Prince and I haven’t had any conversations with him. It’s more the media and other people bringing this to the table than what we’re doing. We haven’t initiated any kind of contact at all. That’s the media bringing it out right now.”

– Carrie Muskat

12/16 More Fielder talk

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says it’s down to the Cubs vs. the Mariners for free agent Prince Fielder. Rosenthal says sources tell him the Cubs don’t want to give Fielder a 10-year contract but may try to lure the slugger with a six- or seven-year deal. A friend of Fielder’s told Rosenthal that the first baseman is “not in a rush” to settle on a new team. More rumors expected soon.

– Carrie Muskat

12/15 Could Prince join Cubs?

New Cubs manager Dale Sveum has made it no secret about how much he likes Prince Fielder. Could the free agent slugger come to Chicago? Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com both think the Cubs are in the mix in the bidding for Fielder. However, Fielder, 27, and his agent, Scott Boras, are reportedly looking for a 10-year deal close to the $254 million that Albert Pujols received. That kind of contract does not appear to fit what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have said they want to do in Chicago. The Blue Jays and Mariners also are reportedly interested in Fielder. He’s a career .282 hitter, and has averaged 38 homers over the last six years. Fielder has a .298 average at Wrigley Field with 11 home runs and 15 doubles.

The Cubs’ obligations payroll-wise beyond 2012 include $38 million for two more years to Alfonso Soriano and $9.8 million owed Carlos Marmol in 2013. If the Cubs could get Fielder to defer money the way in the first year of his deal the Brewers did with Aramis Ramirez’s contract, it would might be possible. Should the Cubs sign Fielder? What do you think?

– Carrie Muskat

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

12/6 Hoyer, Epstein share workload

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have divided the workload at the Winter Meetings, which Hoyer said has helped them be more productive. And at least one of them has apparently talked to representatives for free agents Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
Where Pujols and Fielder go isn’t holding up the Cubs, but the two sluggers are the top topic at the Hilton Anatole.

“There’s a curiosity factor, for sure,” said Hoyer, the Cubs’ GM. “They’re two superstar level players but I don’t think those guys have to sign somewhere to break some kind of logjam. I think that’s already been broken. I think it’s a mistake if you’re waiting around for that.

“Obviously, they’re two players we’re involved in,” Hoyer said, “but to wait around for things to happen, you can miss out. We’re working on a lot of fronts.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that the Cubs made a “qualifying bid” for Pujols. Epstein, the Cubs president of baseball operations, did meet with Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano on Monday but Epstein said those discussions were about pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. The Post-Dispatch reported it had confirmed the Cubs did submit a bid for Pujols, but more in the five-year range and it would include a full no-trade clause.

Hoyer would not comment on specific players. However, he did say Tuesday that no-trade clauses are to be “avoided.”

Fielder would make more sense for the Cubs than Pujols if they did want a big slugger.  Although Fielder would still require a major financial commitment, it most likely would not be a 10-year contract, which is what Pujols was reportedly being offered by the Marlins. Plus, Fielder would be reunited with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who was his hitting coach in Milwaukee.

“There’s rumors out there and all that,” Sveum said of the Cubs and Fielder. “I don’t see that we’ve started any talks or anything like that. … We’re not in any kind of process talking to him or anything like that.”

– Carrie Muskat

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

12/6 Cubs bid for Pujols? Maybe, if less than 10 years

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday the Cubs have made a “qualifying bid” for free agent slugger Albert Pujols. That doesn’t mean the Cubs are offering a 10-year package, but they may have dangled a five-year deal which would include a no-trade clause. A 10-year mega contract is not likely because that does not doesn’t fit into what Theo Epstein has said he wants to do in Chicago. Epstein did meet with Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano on Monday, although Epstein said those discussions were more about pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. The Post-Dispatch says it confirmed the Cubs did submit a bid for Pujols. A Cubs official denied the reports. Jon Heyman of MLB Network says the Cubs are eyeing Prince Fielder more than Pujols. The Marlins and Cardinals have reportedly offered Pujols 10-year contracts.

– Carrie Muskat

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