In his talks with clubs about Prince Fielder, agent Scott Boras has suggested that Fielder is the game’s last young power bat until Marlins right fielder Mike Stanton joins him among the game's elite.
If you believe that assertion — and many club executives agree that there is a dearth of power throughout the majors and minors — wouldn’t it be tempting to put Fielder and Stanton together on the same team?
Fielder is about the only major free agent to whom the Marlins have not made an offer. They are more focused on Albert Pujols, in part because Pujols, a native of the Dominican Republic, would be a bigger draw for Miami’s Hispanic community.
The team, however, has discussed Fielder internally and done background work on his makeup, major-league sources say — and yes, some club officials are indeed enamored of the idea of pairing Fielder, 27, with Stanton, 22.
The idea has merit from several perspectives:
• Fielder, a left-handed hitter, would fit the Marlins’ heavily right-handed lineup better than Pujols. Left fielder Logan Morrison currently is the Marlins’ only left-handed hitter with power.
• Fielder lives in Orlando, and frequently returned home from Milwaukee on off-days while playing for the Brewers. By signing with the Marlins, he would be in the National League city closest to Orlando.
• Fielder, who is nearly 4 1/2 years younger than Pujols, is roughly in the same age category as Stanton, Morrison and Hanley Ramirez, not to mention another free agent the Marlins are pursuing, shortstop Jose Reyes.
To this point, the Marlins have had minimal contact with Fielder — they first will exhaust their options with Pujols and Reyes, sources say.
What’s more, if the Marlins sign Reyes, their next big move could be for a starting pitcher and not a first baseman; the team already has two options at first, Gaby Sanchez and Morrison.
Still, Fielder to the Fish cannot be entirely ruled out. The Marlins proved they were serious about spending by reaching agreement with closer Heath Bell on a three-year, $27 million contract. And clearly, they aren’t finished yet.
— Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi