The Rangers just signed Yu and don't necessarily NEED Fielder. They scored the 3rd most runs in the AL last year and don't expect to have major roster changes. However, a big chunk of that came from the over 30 crowd and early speculation has them letting both Josh Hamilton (after 2012) and Ian Kinsler (after 2013) walk. They could use the bat. They have the money. And they were/are THIS close. They may see the window as closing, as opposed to the Nats who see it as opening. That's a pretty good impetus.
The Cubs are looking at a rough season. That's nothing new, of course, but what's worse, the Cubs don't have anyone who the fans can rally behind and could be in for a big power drop next season. They already were 10th in the league in homers, Aramis Ramirez is gone and they are likely to let Carlos Pena walk (which also opens up first base). Given the age of
The Nats aren't bidding against themselves. The competition is out there. However, it's looking more and more that with the questions these teams have that the 8 year megadeal won't happen. Can the Nats pull off 6 years, 120 million? Or will Boras try to play a dangerous waiting game with a short term deal, with the hopes over a bigger pay day down the road?* If he does, does that play into the Rangers hands given their new position as playoff regulars?
Time to earn the paycheck, Rizzo.
*Seriously - Boras has a big issue if Prince wants to play first right now, The Angels are good until 2021, Red Sox are good until 2018, Phillies 2017, Yankees 2016. There's some shifting the Sox or Angels can do but you wouldn't move Pujols or AGonz for Prince. Other usual big spenders, the White Sox, Mets, Cubs, aren't in any position to make a big move this year. The Giants are concerned with their upcoming free agent pitchers. The Twins are concerned with their payroll, I'm sure. The best best may be a 4 year deal. Perhaps after 2015 Prince would agree to play DH. At that point the Tigers may have an opening (but Cabrera hits the FA market), the Yankees might be willing to eat the last year of Teixeira's deal, and maybe the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Mets, or someone else would need Prince as that last piece.