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MLB Trade Rumors: Will Prince Fielder Return to the Brewers?

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I had a busy day yesterday and did not get much of the writing done that I had originally planned, but here is a quick post on something I read on Jim Bowden's blog last evening. Bowden speculated that the market for Prince Fielder is so quiet right now that there is a good possibility he could return to the Brewers in 2012. Here is Bowden's quote:

Prince Fielder has seen so little action that there is a growing sentiment that a return to the Milwaukee Brewers is not out of the realm of possibility. That which seemed so unlikely at season’s end is now seemingly a bona fide consideration. There has been some outside interest, including from the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs.

I don't see the Cubs getting involved here, and would be shocked to see Theo sign him, as it appears they are in full rebuild mode. If not, they should be.'s Jon Heyman wrote that the Mariners are hoping to be involved in talks for Fielder, but they have young first baseman Justin Smoak as their first baseman of the future, and would be surprised if they gave up on him so quickly.

More on Fielder after the jump:

Fielder is reportedly looking for a 7-8 year deal, and some think the only way he will get that is if he signs with an American League team. Which teams? I think the Blue Jays and Rangers would have to be at the top of the list for Fielder, but may not want to invest so much on Fielder since both teams need starting pitching help this offseason.

I could see the Rangers jumping into the mix for Fielder as they could address their pitching needs via a trade, as they are a team built to win now, and have the prospects to deal in any package for a starting pitcher. It would make sense for Rangers GM Jon Daniels to get new Cubs GM Theo Epstein on the phone to discuss a deal for starter Matt Garza. Garza has had success in the American League East already and the Rangers will need a starter to replace C.J. Wilson in their rotation.

I wrote here a few weeks ago that the Dodgers could get involved in talks for Fielder, but recent quotes by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti indicate that won't be a possibility this offseason. He was quoted last week saying that the Dodgers would not be able to sign Fielder this offseason:

Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Tuesday that it is unlikely his club will be able to pursue a big-name free-agent power hitter this winter, effectively ending all speculation the Dodgers will be in the hunt for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.

"As of today, unless something changes, I think it looks less realistic,'' Colletti said. "I think we have to figure out other ways to produce runs.''

Then, just a few days ago, Colletti was interviewed on SiriusXM Radio's MLB Channel, and stated that James Loney would be his first baseman in 2012, and added that he could hit 20-25 home runs. They have been saying that for several years now, and I am not buying it.

This Dodgers fan is hoping that Colletti is pulling a Ruben Amaro Jr. and will switch gears and sign Fielder. The "unless something changes" quote in the excerpt above leaves "some" hope for Dodgers fans, as all they will need is some positive news around the sale of the team to make that change happen.

Time will tell, but as Bowden speculates above, the Brewers might be in the driver's seat right now in the market for Fielder, but with the Winter Meetings coming next Sunday, the rumor mill will be in full gear leading up to the start of those meetings.