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The high-stakes Prince Fielder poker game

Jan 19, 2012, 10:20 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Prince Fielder still hasn't signed with anyone yet.

Prince Fielder officially became a free agent 2 1/2 months ago, yet the burly slugger has yet to sign with anyone. And, truth be told, we really have no clearer idea today where he's going to wind up than we did way back in early November.

Sure, there has been tons of speculation thrown around the web, especially in the last couple of weeks. But the conflicting reports are headache-inducing.

The Nationals have no interest in Fielder! No, wait, the Nationals are the front-runners to sign him! Except the Rangers are aggressively pursuing him! But then they spent $117 million on Yu Darvish, so they have no money left! Except they're still interested in Fielder if they can work out a "creative" deal! And there's still the Cubs, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles in the mix … or not!

Got all that? Yeah, probably not.

Here's the truth to the Fielder saga: There's really no way to know which teams are seriously in the hunt still, or what kind of contract theRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Bring "Let's Go Crazy" to DCLipty,

  2. SCNatsFan - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    As tough as it is for us, imagine being a second tier FA 1B and you and your family are still waiting for the first domino to drop. I still think unless it is for less then 5 years then it won't be here.

  3. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    If I was Rizzo and Lerner, I would want it like this: 3 years at $23 mil and 4 years at $20 mil. Give Fielder and option every year after the 3rd and retain a club uption every year after the 4th with buyouts of $8mil, $6 mil and $4 mil.Anything more than that, play the hand you got. Fielder replaces LaRoche. Assuming both players are healthy, Fielder is a much more interesting option than LaRoche, but not a 10-year $200+ million option. LaRoche is a great defensive 1b and has a solid track record of hitting home runs and driving in runs. Will he draw the fans Prince will? No. Will we be stuck with him 6 years down the road at $20+ million per? Also no.

  4. joemktg - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    "Have they been telling the truth and have held nothing better than a pair of deuces in their hand, or have they been hiding a full house this whole time?" If you're playing hold 'em, it could be both. #lostmorethanwonWhat's interesting is Mark's statement regarding Boras using the press to spread the word that one club is all in on Fielder. I haven't seen this yet. Press has been touting the Nats as the leader, but is that Boras speaking?

  5. Cwj - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    What the heck, I say go for it Nats! I was opposed to this earlier, but signing Fielder would pretty much lock up a 90+ win season.Go ahead and sign Prince! Go Nats!

  6. Constant Reader - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Well done Mark.Giants anyone?OK, I'll stop.

  7. Dave - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    SCNatsFanI actually think the opposite … if it is less than 5 years, then I think more teams will be interested and willing to bid more $ … I think the one chance the Nats have is if we are willing to commit a little longer than everyone else … my guess is that it takes at least 6 years for us to get him. I'm not sure if I would do that, but my guess is that it turns out to be either the Nats at 6-7 years, or someone else (Texas, Miami, Cubs, Milwaukee, SF, Detroit, etc.) with a high dollar short term contract (1-3 years).

  8. gonatsgo - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Here is what I think will happen — pf will sign with some team no one has even mentioned. Then the next day Rizzo will make some deal – trade, fa signing – that is totally out of the blue and epic. Afterwards we will be left scratching our heads and sorry that we doubted him as it will make perfect sense after the fact. And no, I have not been smoking anything illegal.

  9. Section 222 - Jan 19, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    It's been tough, but at least Mark has finally admitted that Rizzo is playing poker too, and all his "LaRoche is our first baseman" and "not interested unless the price comes way down" talk isn't worth much. It's absolutely true that no one knows how this will turn out. So now we can get back to debating whether the Nats *should* sign Prince, rather than whether they will.

  10. NSA Domestic Intercepts Division: Flash Traffic - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    [Watch Officer's note: This appears to be a follow-on telephone call to one placed yesterday by 'Scott' to 'Mike' in Washington, D.C., the transcript of which has already been circulated to addressees. 'Scott' also makes numerous calls overseas, particularly to Caribbean islands and Venezuela. Given our uncertainty about what 'deal' is being discussed, NSA will continue to monitor these calls as they could impact Washington's vital interests.]Mike: Scott? Glad I could catch you. Listen, I spoke with Mr. Learner [phonetic] and he said he was pretty darn clear that that offer he had made you and your client a few weeks ago was only good for 72 hours.Scott: Okay, okay, I know that. But my question was whether those numbers still work. Maybe not as a formal offer, per se, but as to where we stand in our negotiations?Mike: Scott, I don't think we're in negotiations with you right now.Scott: What do you mean?Mike: Well, we made an offer, gave you 72 hours, you didn't respond, and I didn't hear a word from you until your call yesterday. When was that? Oh yeah, right about 4:00 p.m. Dallas time. That's not really being in negotiations, I don't think.[Pause]Mike: Scott, are you there?Scott: Yeah, yeah, I'm here. Listen, Mike, we need to talk in person. You, me, my guy, Mr. Learner and his family. This weekend? Eastern shore?Mike: Sorry, Scott, but this weekend isn't good for us. The Learners are doing something with Ryan this weekend. Kind of a business-pleasure mix. You understand, right?Scott: [Indistinct question - possibly "No land?" or "No, Lynn?"]Mike: [Laughter] No, no, not him. With Ryan Zimmerman. Our guy. Face of the franchise, you know? Scott: [Multiple expletives.]Mike: Now don't get pissy with me, Scott. We've got a good relationship with you and your other clients. And I'm sure you've got a lot of other options for prints filter [as heard], right?Scott: Right. Lots of interest. Lots. Just sorting through the offers. Wanted to keep you in the loop.Mike: And I just wanted to get back to you like I promised, about that earlier proposal. Mr. Learner was pretty adamant about that. But remember, if the market resets, you know our number.

  11. DL in VA - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Okay Mark, we get it. Now, a request: can you switch gears and tell us what YOU want to see happen?

  12. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    I've been a season ticket holder since 2005, i.e., seven long "rebuilding" years and seasons. If The Prince can take us to the Promised Land of the Playoffs now, I say let's do it!!!! I'm not getting any younger (and neither are any of you)!

  13. baseballswami - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Ok – I can be a little neurotic – you see, I really need to know who is going to be on the team because I have a hard time warming up to new guys. Yes, even if they are good. I am thinking of going down to Viera and cheering for the guys and it's getting close now, ( sounds of joyful fireworks going of in the background as I type that), and so don't you think we should stop micky mousing around and make some decisions? Ok – so it's probably the royal batsman that needs to make a decision. Hurry up! Don't you like want to buy a house or something before spring training starts? I already have to get to know NatGio – although watching film of his devastating curveball really does help a lot!

  14. Joe Seamhead - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Oh, Good grief. This is getting to be like that picture "The Scream." Make it stop!

  15. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    More like "Groundhog Day"

  16. Waddu eye no - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Love it

  17. Gonat - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Look we know he has been to DC and the Nats are in negotiations. Thats all we know.

  18. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Gonat – and therein lies the problem.

  19. Nats fan in NJ - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Absolutely best comments on the web…

  20. ehay2k - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Do we even know if the Nats are negotiating with PF? We are pretty sure he came to DC, but maybe he just wanted to dine at Komi?MLB network is saying PF is perfect for the Rangers in terms of ballpark, career path to DH, etc. However, there are the money issues and what it means for Josh Hamilton. I think I'd rather PF goes elsewhere. If LaRoche hits 90/25, we'll be fine. Still have young pitchers that need to be able to trust the defense, and LaRoche also takes a lot of pressure off of, and reduces the wear and tear on, Espinosa.Happy to stand pat. CF lead off man would be a bound. As would Dmitri Young on the bench. :-)

  21. N. Cognito - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    I just want it to be over…so we can enter into another Hot Stove doldrum.

  22. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Instead of making Nats jerseys with the option of printing "Fielder" on the back, they should make "Fielder" jerseys with the option of printing a team on it.I check the web and already know I'm going to see one of two stories:1. Fielder likely to go to DC.2. Fielder likely to go somewhere else.I don't believe any of them.So why do I keep checking?!?!?

  23. N. Cognito - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Anonymous said… "I've been a season ticket holder since 2005, i.e., seven long "rebuilding" years and seasons."that's funny. I've also been a season ticket holder since 2005, and I've only seen 5 rebuilding years ('05 and '06 were not rebuilding years). Five years is pretty much the minimum on a rebuild before you start to see signifiant progress.

  24. NatinBeantown - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Because there's no accountability on the internet, I hereby confess:I was very much in favor of pursuing Fausto "Smiley" Carmona before his extension last year. such deal, if consumated, would have undermined all the good that has happened and resurrected "Natinals" for at least another year.I also admit: Mike Rizzo knows more about baseball than I do, as do a whole lot of other folks.

  25. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    It seems obvious to this particular moron that there are several places that Prince Fielder will be loathe to go, and Baltimore is one of them. I think they can safely be removed. Seattle has also got to be on the "I'd really prefer not to" list. When push comes to shove, AL clubs will value Prince over NL clubs. That's just the way it is with 1B's who profile to age into the DH role (Dunn).So, who in the AL might be in, and also has a franchise the Prince would agree to join. Texas. Toronto. I don't think any others.NL? Nationals, Giants, and of course perhaps the Brewers.That's who Boras is trying to get to the table.It's still more than likely Prince does not come here, just 'cause AL clubs will value him more and therefore be willing to offer more. But that's only if Toronto and / or Texas is really in.

  26. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    And whoever is writing the Mike and Scott dialogue, that's really well done….

  27. Wally - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Well, I can't say that I invented this one, but I am not above stealing it from Twitter: Fausto Carmona traded for Leo Nunez in the MLB-first-of-its-kind trade of 'Two players to be named later'

  28. MicheleS - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    to our poster at the NSA…Bravo.. that is a brillant post! All I can say is that I hope the Lerners are making Boras twist in the wind. We have lined his pockets with mega bucks over the last few years (as Boz has documented). It's time for us to get some of that back…But I also agreee with ehay2k.. If the PF Flyer lands somewhere else, and we are "stuck" with LaRoche, I am perfectly fine with that!

  29. NatinBeantown - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    Wally, that's awesome.

  30. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Here is my thinking: the Nats will either get Fielder, or they will go big for a CF next year. HOWEVER, if they get Fielder now, they positively affect the renegotiation of their television broadcast rights, which will be resolved before they would go for a CF next year. So, it is to the Nats' greater financial benefit to get Fielder, than to wait a year on a CF. Get ready to pop the champagne, boys and girls…Corky

  31. NatsNut - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Yes.joemktg said…"…What's interesting is Mark's statement regarding Boras using the press to spread the word that one club is all in on Fielder. I haven't seen this yet. Press has been touting the Nats as the leader, but is that Boras speaking?"

  32. Tom in AR - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    This is probably blasphemous, but I say that by the time his contract is up, the NL will have instituted the DH.

  33. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    No Tom. That's not "probably" blasphemous. That's just straight up, old school blasphemous.

  34. Mr. Applegate - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    bwahahahaaa

  35. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Not blasphemous. Satanic.

  36. kevinx - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Blasphemy!!!!!

  37. Ghost of The Babe - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    There will be no DH in the NL.

  38. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    With the increased interleague play it wouldn't surprise me if the NL instituted the DH which is sad.

  39. Section 222 - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Everyone who says they'd rather stick with LaRoche instead of going for Fielder seems to say something similar to what ehay2k said: "If LaRoche hits 90/25, we'll be fine." Sure, that'd be fine. But it ain't gonna happen, especially in his first year back from major shoulder surgery. So don't kid yourself on what the difference between Prince or No Prince will be.NatsNut, kudos on your brevity. Do you give lessons?

  40. NatsNut - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    =)

  41. ehay2k - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    If we get PF, does that mean the Nats will bring back the portly Screech? If so, I will need to buy the slim Screech bobblehead!

  42. NatsNut - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    BTW, my favorite version of the Boras v. MLB showdown is on Nationals Enquirer. It's the most plausible version out there. http://tinyurl.com/7skssy4

  43. Tom in AR - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Not saying I want that. I just think it is going to happen. Hope I am wrong. But the best case scenario if they do institute the DH will be having PF ready to slot in as a DH.

  44. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Back to reality, and off-topic:Gomes is going to the Athletics.Oh, the humanity! How are we ever go to fill that .206 void?Going, going, Gomes. This is one acquisition that I never quite understood when it happened, never understood the guy while he was here and never quite understand the guy now. Nothing against him personally. Just never understood our need/his fit and how that entire cosmic thing was supposed to work.Good luck in Moneyball, Jonny. We hardly knew ye.

  45. Gonat - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    NatsNut said… BTW, my favorite version of the Boras v. MLB showdown is on Nationals Enquirer. It's the most plausible version out there. http://tinyurl.com/7skssy4 January 19, 2012 9:41 PM ______________________________I couldn't open your link. Did want to say that whoever the Nats Enquirer person is has been a joy to read with his logic, humor, and follow-ups. He put himself out there to say Prince was in town when nobody was believing it and was the first one out there with the opt-out clause idea. He actually beat Ken Rosenthal to the opt-out angle and that was impressive.

  46. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Yeah well the problem is NSA by law isn't allowed to do Domestic intercepts. That's actually the FBI. There's the gray area NSA GW Bush opened in Colorado (big time red state, Maryland made polygraphing as a precondition for employment illegal … good ol' Maryland fighting to keep the Constitution from the tea partying Christians who believe it was written by a Puritan named Cromwell) … nevertheless its highly likely they are helping the FBI who has purview over any and all DOMESTIC intercepts. The NSA by its own charter only deals with the International.

  47. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    I still disagree that "money" is exclusively the reason Fielder isn't a Nat. I believe he himself is picky about where he lands. Remember, he was a teammate of one Nyjer Morgan, as well as new LA Dodger Jerry Hairston Jr.

  48. N. Cognito - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    "With the increased interleague play it wouldn't surprise me if the NL instituted the DH which is sad."There will be no increase in interleague play. It will simply be spread out over the whole season.There will be no change in the DH rule any time in the foreseeable future.

  49. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:10 AM

    Anon @10:34, anyone who doesn't know that Nyjer is fun in good times and the last one you would seek advice from in business which makes me almost certain that Nyjer has no involvement in Prince's decision.Prince's father says Washington DC!Ultimately, I think Boras will push him.

  50. Unkyd - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    10:30……..wow. Nice try, but the "Scott/Mike" posts are so clever, they're "buzzkill-proof" (patents pending). You might be a candidate for Humorless Mini-Rant if the Year, though…….

  51. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    gonatsgo is right. PF will go to another team. Then Rizzo will trade for Garrado Parra of AZ who will be our CF and leadoff hitter on our first playoff team. And we will be happy for our young & fit team. I hope Rizzo doesn't have to give them too mich but it will be better than 2 mil per anum. Mickey Mantle07

  52. lesatcsc - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    This just in…. Prince Fielder has signed with the Nippon Ham Fighters for $51M and change for 1 year. A spokesman for the Ham Fighters said they are in the process of installing huge nets to catch all Fielder's homers so as not to endanger the indigenous population. He added that the signing was made possible by a recent windfall in the teams finances. He also said that he thought Fielder was a natural for the Ham Fighters since he looked a bit like a ham, or at the very least like a ham eater.Fielder's agent Scott Boros remarked, "I told you there was a mystery team and that the Rangers were involved" and was last seen disappearing into the night laughing hysterically. Contacted at home, Prince Fielder remarked "The Ham Eaters seemed like a good fit. I'm hoping to get them to rebrand to the Turnip Fighters, but I think it is a bit too soon to push on that one".Japanese baseball pundits are predicting he will hit 100 HRs this year.Hey, it could happen…

  53. natsfan1a - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    That *was* a very interesting and amusing exchange, Anon@6:03. However, given that you posted it here, we'll be needing to revoke your clearance. Please gather your belongings. Our security personnel will be escorting you from the premises immediately. ;-)

  54. baseballswami - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Is the increase in humor and decrease in crankiness directly related to the fact that we have reached the one month point on the counter? Is giddiness setting in? I am just sooo ready for live baseball.

  55. natsfan1a - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    After reading through, good for Gomes if the deal with Oakland goes through. I was hoping he'd have a happy landing somewhere.baseballswami, I think it's a combination of baseball deprivation and a reaction to being jerked around like marionettes in some macabre "dance of the FA deal" at the hands of Mr. Boras. But that's just my own (admittedly overblown) theory. :-)Speaking of theories and in re. your post the other day, I'm not sure exactly how or why a given player becomes my fave, but I do know that it takes time and doesn't happen as soon as they join the team. I have to "get to know them." It's generally a combination of things that does the trick. Among the factors might be how they always sign autographs for the kids before a game, it might be their fundamental approach and how they always play hard, it might be their funny or down-to-earth personality, it might be something in their bio that intrigues me. As with my favorite players, it's hard to pick just one factor.

  56. baseballswami - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    natsfan1a – agree with you on some of the factors in fan faves. I don't think I could have a favorite player that didn't play the game hard. Win or lose, these guys are all paid big bucks, even the young ones and I want to see a full effort.

  57. Gonat - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    You want some humor? Prince Fielder lost 180 pounds this week. He told Boras to "Get lost".Boras wanted Prince Fielder to do a Yoenis Cespedes style video. Prince ran a 4.2 in the 40. Don't get too excited, that was for 40 feet.Where does Boras turn today? I'm thinking he's calling Nippon Ham Fighters. They have $51.7 million to spend on a 1 year deal!

  58. Gonat - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    How's about the GM of the Texas Rangers doing a media blitz? This guy has been trying to say as nicely as he can that there is almost no possible way they will get Prince Fielder and still you have 1 writer that doesn't buy it.I think if Boras offered them a 10 million deal for the next 3 years he would do it but we all know that isn't happening.

  59. Mick - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I still think Nats will land Big Boy!

  60. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I want to go to games at a reasonable price. cut all players salaries to less than 1 million a yr. In all teams.If a player cant live on a million a yr…thats sad.

  61. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    declair all agents illegal. Make the players bargain on their own. the saleries will fall…and the ticket prices should fall also. The owners will come out ahead.

  62. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    That NSA wiretap thing is funny. You should write for a sitcom or something.

  63. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    I think the Nats will sign Fielder. First they have to lock up Zimmerman long-term. If you sign Fielder before Zimmerman it will cost the Nats a lot of money or in two years Zimmerman will be wearing a Red Sox jersey. With the MASN renegotiation the francise will get several times whatever they end out paying Fielder in the increased marketibility of the francise.

  64. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    Unless he come way down from what they are talking I wouldn't do it. If I did it would only be for 4 yrs garunteed and a weight clause. He could be Dimitri Young the 2nd.

  65. poker tips - Mar 8, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    Poker is really a game of chance and you have to think about the odds first. Thanks.

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