Contrary to recent reports, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is hearing that the Cubs are “not major players” for free agent first baseman Prince Fielder because they are “not ready to spend big.”
Cafardo is a Boston-based writer and his information goes against what has been reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and others, so there’s been some speculation that Cubs president Theo Epstein might have planted the thought in order to shroud his new club’s pursuit. But Cafardo isn’t just some guy. He’s regularly spot-on about trades and free agent signings from around the baseball world, and he has sources that stretch beyond Boston.
Fielder, 27, owns a fantastic .929 career OPS and slugged 38 home runs in 162 games this past year for Milwaukee. He’s also drawing interest from the Mariners, Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals and Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.
The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.
One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.