- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
Yesterday’s news puts to rest at least one location, as the Milwaukee Brewers moved on by signing third baseman Aramis Ramirez to a three-year, $36 million contract. With Ramirez signed and reliever Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration, the Brewers seemingly would not have room for Fielder in their payroll.
Realistically, just four teams remain in contention for Fielder’s services. Here's a look at those four teams with a breakdown of what they have to do to convince him to come and what other measures they will take should they sign him. They are listed in order of likelihood of signing Fielder, beginning with the most likely.
Why they need Fielder: General manager Jon Daniels does an excellent job of staying in touch and remaining involved with the representatives of all the top free agents just in case anything changes quickly either among his opposition or within the free agents' camps. At the winter meetings, there was a massive shift in the balance of power in the American League West and Daniels knows he must address it. Not only did the Los Angeles Angels sign Pujols, they took the Rangers’ best pitcher, C.J. Wilson. The Rangers now find themselves in a similar position to last offseason, when they struck out on signing lefty Cliff Lee. Instead of settling for mediocrity, they found something besides pitching to make their team better: third baseman Adrian Beltre. This year, their alternative could be Fielder, and Dan Szymborski does an excellent job of explaining why Texas needs him more than any other club.