For several weeks now...actually, scratch that. For several months, now, Prince Fielder has been a popular subject of conversation among Mariners fans. He was approaching free agency, he wasn't going to re-sign with the Brewers, and whether true or false, he's just felt more attainable than Albert Pujols. Some fans have been thinking about Fielder for a long time.
And now that we've gotten to the offseason, and Fielder has officially become available, the talk has only intensified. For whatever reason, he's considered the most likely big splash the Mariners could make. And a lot of Mariners fans, understandably, are fond of the idea, too. Prince Fielder is really good, and he isn't quietly really good, like, I dunno, Ian Kinsler. He is obviously very good, like Miguel Cabrera or Mike Napoli. The good things that he does - one doesn't miss the good things that he does.
What we haven't had to this point, though, is any indication that the Mariners would actually get involved. One could argue that it would make sense for them to get involved, but we didn't have any rumors. Only speculation, and without rumors, all the talk stood a chance of fizzling out.
That's where Jon Heyman comes in:
That is not a strong rumor. That rumor does not hint that the Mariners will make an all-out charge. That rumor goes so far as to admit that the M's might not have the money to even get Fielder's attention. This rumor basically says "hey, the Mariners think Prince Fielder is nice, and it would be nice to have him," and that's it.
But it's a rumor. It's a spark to ignite the offseason kindling. With one simple tweet, Jon Heyman has justified weeks more of speculation and hypotheticals. We don't have to give up on the Prince Fielder idea, because Heyman says the M's will make a try, and that's something. That's enough.
So I was happy to see this tweet. I don't even know if I'm on board with the M's signing Prince Fielder, and I suspect that I wouldn't be a big fan of the contract it would probably take to get him, but no matter where you stand on this, there's no denying that the offseason is a lot more interesting when you get to bandy about one or two or seven of the biggest names on the market. Sure, maybe the M's could end up settling for Ryan Doumit and Chris Capuano, and maybe the M's could end up settling for even less than that, and maybe that would be fine, but part of the thrill of this time of year is getting to imagine a new star player, and with Fielder, we get to imagine a new star player until he signs elsewhere, if he signs elsewhere.
Just sit back and watch your mind go. Prince Fielder in a Mariners uniform, blasting mistakes into the Hit-It-Here Cafe! It's possible, and maybe even for a reasonable price, since the Red Sox aren't in it, and the Yankees aren't in it, and the Dodgers aren't in it, and the Mets aren't in it, and the Rangers aren't in it, and so on. Who's to say? Who's to say?
Jack Zduriencik, Prince Fielder, and Scott Boras are to say, but we're not. All we know is that the Mariners might be interested in a really good hitter, and this time of year, that's all we really need.