Let me start by saying that I have never thought up until today that there was any real chance that Prince Fielder would sign with the Blue Jays. The team has never given any indication that they would, and I have been the first to tell others that it's not happening. Sure I would daydream every now and then what it would be like to have both Fielder and Jose Bautista in the middle of the Blue Jays line-up, however I never though it would happen, in spite of any reports to the contrary. That is until today, and for no other reason that when I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together in my head I realized that Toronto is really Prince Fielder's only option.
What you say??? What about all the other reports about numerous teams being interested in him. Well, we need to remember he is being represented by Scott Boras who is the king of spinning false interest in his clients and in early December he had even convinced a reporter to break the story that Fielder had narrowed his list of teams down to three, which also happened to included the Blue Jays. Additionally, when you start looking at the teams that are reportedly interested, all of them have denied any interest.
Let's go through the list:
According to MLB.com there's a "99 percent" chance that the Nationals will not sign Prince Fielder. Additional reports suggest that after the Jayson Werth signing last year which is not quite working out the way they expected, they are a bit gun shy to hand out another big contract, and they say the teams situation is settled at first base with Adam LaRoche.
According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick Seattle's interest in Fielder is "extremely overblown." and an agent reports are that they only have $3 to $4 million left for this years budget
Prince's former team has moved on and signed Aramis Ramirez instead, and with Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration there is little money left to bring back Fielder.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, if Texas signs Yu Darvish, there is reportedly no money left for Fielder
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports a high ranking official in Miami has stated the team "is not and will not" be pursuing Prince Fielder
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN that there is "no way" the Orioles will give Fielder the kind of money he wants, and the teams General Manager Dan Duquette says they won't be players for Fielder.
Rather than paying a princely sum, the Cardinals have signed Carlos Beltran instead and Lance Berkman will be the teams 2012 1st baseman
The teams general manager Ned Colleti has said the team is likely done spending as "we are at our payroll"
That completes the list of team with reported interest in Prince Fielder, could there be others? Possibly San Francisco, however they have never been linked to Fielder and John Heyman of CBS sports reports that Fielder does not want to go to the West Coast. Maybe Arizona, but they've got Paul Goldschmidt at 1st base who is young, inexpensive and controllable for the next 6 years. I guess you can never count out the Red Sox and Yankees, but their 1st base and DH situations are filled. This really only leaves one team, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Also, the Toronto Blue Jays have never denied interest in Prince Fielder, they have just balked at his asking price and contract term demands. However, if they are the only bidder then Fielder will eventually have to give in to the demands of the Blue Jays and settle for a maximum 5 year deal. After all, Alex Anthopoulos has a value for all players and if a contact for Fielder meets what they believe is his value, and it makes sense for the team, then he's willing to make such moves.
Update: According to the Washington Post the owners of the Washington Nationals met with agent Scott Boras to discuss Prince Fielder, therefore the "99 per cent" chance that he won't sign with the team comment may have been nothing more than posturing. Something that a lot of teams may be doing to try to get the price down.
Update 2: According to Jon Paul Morosi the Blue Jays are "not a serious suitor for Prince Fielder" and that "Price/years would need to come way down". Well the hypothesis of my article is that since apparently no one is interested in Prince Fielder at his current demands, his price/years will have to come way down if he wants to play anywhere next season.