The big five for the upcoming winter meetings which begin Monday in Dallas:
Our returning champion. This time, the superagent represents free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, and won’t even pick up the phone in Dallas unless a team is willing to start at eight years, $200-million (U.S.). If you believe Albert Pujols’s listed age of 31, Fielder is four years younger. If you think Pujols is really 33 or 34, it would put you in the majority and only reinforce why Fielder, belly and all, might be a better play.
A dynamic middle infielder who can lead off and represented by agents known for their realism, Peter and Edward Greenberg, no player will have as many teams knocking at his door. Toronto Blue Jays fans dream about Fielder but Reyes would look just as good in some ways and might even be in the team’s contractual-terms range – although it would necessitate an infield shuffle.
Chicago White Sox
General manager Kenny Williams says he will use the meetings to determine the trade market for pitchers Gavin Floyd (28 years old) John Danks (26), outfielder Carlos Quentin (29) and reliever Matt Thornton (35) before deciding whether to start a wholesale rebuild.
Club president Theo Epstein didn’t come over from the Boston Red Sox just to sign David DeJesus to a two-year, $10.75-million contract. He’ll get one of Fielder or Pujols, and will parlay starting pitcher Matt Garza into a couple of prospects.
The Nats will overpay for starter C.J. Wilson, like they did last season with Jayson Werth (seven years, $126-million). And why not? The Lerner family is among the wealthiest owners in baseball, and young stars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper won’t want to forever stand around.