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Hello and welcome to the second in what I guess now qualifies as a series of PRINCE FIELDER WATCHes. Our first PRINCE FIELDER WATCH was a day and a half ago. We are writing a second so soon because in the time that's passed, the entire landscape has shifted. Which is to say that the entire landscape has shifted in one direction, and then shifted back in the other direction, such that the landscape presently looks exactly like it used to. Onward!

Has Prince Fielder signed a contract?

Has Prince Fielder signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners?

Is Prince Fielder close to signing a contract?
I completely and honestly have no idea.

What does your gut tell you?
This again? My gut tells me the same thing that it did yesterday. No, Prince Fielder is probably not close to signing a contract. You know what happened today? Free agent Dan Wheeler tried to contact the Twins, and he couldn't, because the Twins' front office is shut down for the holidays. Most front offices are shut down for the holidays, and Scott Boras isn't going to let Prince Fielder sign a contract until he's sure that everyone's paying attention. Expect Prince Fielder to sign in 2012. I would be very, very surprised if he made a decision by the end of the week.

What is the latest?
Earlier today, Peter Gammons tweeted that, in conversations with a handful of general managers, a number of them expressed a belief that Boras could have Fielder sign a rich three-year contract so he can re-enter the market at 30. It's evident that the Fielder market hasn't yet developed as Boras would like, so these GMs think he could try to give it another go down the road.

Later on, Boras told ESPN's Bruce Levine that the idea that Fielder could sign a rich three-year contract is "inaccurate and delusional." Boras then went on to accuse certain baseball people of being bored, which, can you blame them? Have you seen the nothing that's been going on? It's the week between Christmas and New Year's! Of course they're bored! I will say that baseball people must not be very creative if this is them exercising their imaginations. Maybe that's why they're baseball people instead of artists. Maybe there are other reasons too.

So, today, we were given the idea of Fielder signing a three-year contract, and then that idea was taken away. Of course, the three-year contract idea was just that - it was GMs engaging in speculation - and I don't think there are many reasons to take Boras at his word, so it's impossible to say what today actually meant. I would wager that today meant nothing. Today just gave people a couple things they could talk about for a little while as they wait for other things.

Prince Fielder is probably going to get a pretty long contract. Some team is probably going to blink. It only takes one, and Boras has made teams bid against themselves before. I can't see Albert Pujols getting ten years, and then Prince Fielder getting way less than ten years in the same offseason. But I can't see a lot of things. That's why I have to wear contact lenses. If I'm not wearing my contacts or my glasses, I'm a horrible person to talk to, because I'll just spend the whole time looking around, marveling at how I would be dead in nature. I wouldn't be able to see food or predators! I'd be like a mole without a burrow!

Are the Mariners still in the thick of things?
I see no reason to believe otherwise.

Haha, "thick of things."
Once was enough.