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DALLAS -- Will the Chicago Cubs be a big-time player for slugger Prince Fielder?
Super agent Scott Boras wouldn’t tip his hand on Wednesday night when he met with the media.
“I’m going to be leaving here and going to meet with Prince to talk about the varying opportunities there are for him," Boras said. "Then we will sit down and begin the process of letting teams know what direction he wants to take. He will kind of prioritize it for me.”
Boras told ESPNChicago.com last week that seven years would be the minimum Fielder would be looking for on the free-agent market.
On Wednesday night, Boras said that teams like the Cubs are still organizing their offseason plans due to the fact that there’s so many knew GMs around the league.
“We have a large group of teams, almost a quarter of them, that have new general mangers. What that means is they’re getting to know their players, their staff and they’re getting to know the other players," Boras said. "In doing so, they want to be thorough and they want to be calculated, especially when you’re talking about franchise commitments that they are going to have to represent to ownership as a result of our meetings.”
Although Epstein told the media on Wednesday that the Cubs would pursue smaller pieces, the 27-year-old Fielder fits perfectly in both their short- and long-term plans. The Cubs have about $60 million coming off last year’s $131 million payroll. Because of arbitration and contract escalations, the team currently has around $90 million committed to next season’s payroll – that includes $4.5 million as a part of David DeJesus’ new deal and $5 million owed to Carlos Pena for playing this past season.
Still they should have the payroll flexibility to add a star like Fielder.
“There are a whole number of teams that are making offers,” Boras said.
Will the Cubs be one of the team’s making a push for Fielder?
“As to what level of interest [they have] you should probably ask them,” Boras said. “Any team that wants to get better whether they are a younger team or a veteran team or a club that wants to win now, not many teams that are in need can pass up a core player like this.”