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Hello and welcome to the latest in our series of PRINCE FIELDER WATCHes. I was going to write this PRINCE FIELDER WATCH last night until I didn't because I wanted to exercise instead. Now I am writing this PRINCE FIELDER this writing...even though it's two in the afternoon and I haven't had a bite to eat for like five hours. You know how children get really surly and short-tempered when they're hungry? The same goes for me, except even moreso. The way I figure, I'm bigger than a child, so the magnitude of my bad attitude is bigger than that of a child. Just in case you can't tell I got my college degree in science. And not one of those shit sciences like biology. A science that makes you think. If fields of scientific study were urban food trucks, biology would be a carpet cleaner company van. (They don't have food.)

Has Prince Fielder signed a contract?

Has Prince Fielder signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners?

Is Prince Fielder close to signing a contract?
According to Barry Bloom, whose name reminds me how much I like hiking in August, Fielder will sign with somebody before the start of spring training. At least, that's what Scott Boras says. If Scott Boras is telling the truth, then Fielder is closer to signing a contract than he was the last time we did this. If Scott Boras is not telling the truth because he is Scott Boras, then who the hell knows, maybe Fielder will quit baseball and join a monastery (with a kickass softball team). Fielder has so many options in front of him. Not all of them involve continuing his playing career. Only a very small fraction do!

What does your gut tell you?
That I'm starving. Didn't you read the first paragraph? I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's somewhere just a little better than Arby's!

What is the latest?
I'm glad* you asked! Yesterday, in the surprise to end all surprises, there were somewhat conflicting reports. One came from Bill Ladson, and the other came from Adam Kilgore.

* not glad

Both Ladson and Kilgore write about the Nationals, which is why they figure so prominently. Ladson led with a sentence stating that there's a "99 percent chance" the Nationals won't sign Fielder. That's a pretty strong sentence. Ladson subsequently softened his lead sentence, saying that the Nationals are only interested in Fielder if his price comes down, which should be obvious. If someone were willing to meet Fielder's current price, he probably would've signed. Ladson passed along word that members of the Nationals organization fear that Fielder could be a DH pretty soon. Not with them, though. Because they don't have the DH. Haha idiots

As for Kilgore, he led with a sentence basically saying "don't mind the Ladson report." A source told him that the Nationals are pursuing Fielder "patiently and aggressively," which are two words that I don't equate with one another. Baseball owners have been meeting in Arizona, and in Arizona, the Nationals' owners met with Scott Boras. Boras is trying to negotiate with ownership, rather than with front offices, so they were presumably meeting about Fielder. The Nationals' owners were not the only owners with whom Boras met.

From all this, per usual, we have learned nothing. One guy told me on Twitter that Peter Gammons said flat-out that Prince Fielder doesn't want to play in Seattle, so take that for whatever it's worth. It's probably worth nothing, but the same could be said of everything else. I think the last report we've had of actual value was Prince Fielder Becomes Free Agent.

The Rangers are supposedly out on Fielder if they sign Yu Darvish. No guarantees. The deadline to sign Darvish is next week. The Rangers will almost certainly sign Yu Darvish. Boras presumably won't allow Fielder to sign until he knows for sure where the Rangers stand. There exists some possibility that Boras gets sufficiently frustrated that he has Fielder sign a one-year contract so as to re-enter the market after the season. This possibility is slim.

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

There are reports that it could snow in Portland this weekend!
We've all heard that one before. We've all heard that one before. :(