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Hello, and welcome to an unplanned and therefore spontaneous PRINCE FIELDER WATCH. This PRINCE FIELDER WATCH was made necessary by recent events, by which I mean one single recent event. Sometimes it's good to have things that are unplanned and spontaneous. Sometimes it is very bad to have things that are unplanned and spontaneous. I think this leans more towards the former, although I could be convinced otherwise. I can be easily convinced of a lot of things. I am such a bad critical thinker :(

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 don't know how many times I have to ask myself this question given that I know that I know that I don't have any kind of special insight into what's going on. Maybe Prince Fielder is asleep. Maybe Prince Fielder is holding a pen! Maybe Prince Fielder is going to quit and go on vacation. I only know what's going on with Prince Fielder when other people report what's going on with Prince Fielder, and usually those people don't even know what's going on with Prince Fielder.

What does your gut tell you?
People ask this question of other people, seriously, all the time. People always want answers, even when there are no answers. This question basically asks "could you provide me with a barely-informed opinion to which I can cling for the foreseeable future?" People would rather have non-information than no information.

What is the latest?
Okay, here we go. Earlier Friday, the Cubs picked up Anthony Rizzo from the Padres. Rizzo, of course, is a talented and almost-ready first base prospect, so it would appear that the Cubs are looking for Rizzo to be the first baseman of the future. This deal should eliminate the Cubs from the pool of possible Fielder destinations.

But then, if you've been listening to the Cubs, they've been trying to eliminate themselves from the pool for some time now. They've publicly distanced themselves from Fielder, and while teams have publicly distanced themselves from players in whom they actually have tremendous interest before, this move proves that the Cubs were being honest. The Cubs were probably never a realistic suitor. This will, at least, prevent Scott Boras from using them.

Also, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said that the team is "committed" to first baseman Adam LaRoche, with Mike Morse as an appealing backup. Rizzo has been supporting LaRoche all along, which could mean something and which could not mean something. There are just as many people calling the Nationals the favorites for Fielder as there are people claiming that the Nationals are being used. It is an impossible situation to read. As always.

Beware the mystery team. Or, if not the mystery team, then the surprising team. Mariners fans fantasize about the idea of Fielder's market never developing, such that Fielder falls into the Mariners' collective lap. But if Fielder were to become surprisingly cheap, then other teams would get involved, to the point at which Fielder ceases to be surprisingly cheap. I wouldn't be shocked if there's someone moving in the dark, someone we've barely heard about.

Are the Mariners still in the thick of things?
I see no reason to believe otherwise, although we haven't heard so much as a whisper of late, and it's still an open question as to how much budget room the team has.

What's your favorite kind of wood?
I don't have a favorite kind of wood.