Most of the recent reports about Prince Fielder center around various teams not being interested in paying his asking price, but now Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers are meeting with the free agent first baseman at a Dallas hotel today.
That doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is close, but clearly the Rangers’ interest in Fielder is legitimate.
And at this point it’s hard to say that with confidence about any other teams, although the Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Orioles have been linked to Fielder at various times this offseason.
Fielder to Texas would make plenty of sense, because thanks to their new television contract the Rangers have tons of money to spend even if they sign Yu Darvish to a massive deal and they’ve seemingly soured somewhat on Mitch Moreland as the long-term answer at first base. And of course an American League team would enable Fielder to move to designated hitter if needed at some point.
Fielder in that ballpark and in the middle of a lineup that scored 855 runs last season would be scary.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.