There is a major rumor swirling around the internet and that is that free agent first baseman Prince Fielder has narrowed his list of suitors down to three teams; the Toronto Blue Jays, who are considered the favorites, the Texas Rangers, and the Milwaukee Brewers. With the Winter Meetings set to open officially tomorrow in Dallas, the hot stove action is bound to pick up, so these kinds of reports are to be expected this time of year.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much this particular rumor can be trusted.
The first talk of this narrowing of the list came from a Cleveland reporter named Matt Loede, who apparently works at a radio station. His article, which was published on CBSlocal.com, doesn’t talk about sources or anything like that. Instead, he three times states that Fielder is “reportedly” narrowing his list, also phrasing it as “according to reports” and “reports say”. Nowhere in his piece, however, does Loede link to said reports.
Everything we’ve seen on twitter since Loede’s piece went public has been merely a circulation of Loede’s article. At this point, I would be extremely hestitant to put any stock into the “report” of Fielder narrowing his list. Loede’s piece gives no reason to buy into the idea that Fielder is any closer to making a decision, nor does it get any corroboration from Brewers GM Doug Melvin, who flatly denied upping their offer for Fielder, stating instead that no official offer has been made to their first baseman.
It’s worth noting here that MLBTradeRumors, the clearinghouse for all things transaction-based, has not run with the Loede report. I know there are a lot of excited Blue Jays fans salivating at the thought of Fielder in those wonderful new (old) uniforms, but this whole things smells awfully fishy right now. I don’t buy it for a second.
Any writer, journalist or blogger, knows that if you write a piece where you are citing reports, you had better link to said reports, especially if you are following up on breaking news. (As an aside, you cannot break news by citing a report. If the report already exists, you didn’t break the news; the original report did.) What Loede did here, it appears, is create an article in hopes of getting some publicity. Until I see this information coming from a credible, national writer (not some radio DJ in Cleveland), I’m inclined to assume the information is untrue.