If the Chicago Cubs were to hire Dale Sveum as manager, would free-agent slugger Prince Fielder be far behind?
Sveum, the Milwaukee Brewers' hitting coach, is a leading candidate for the manager job with the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.
And Sveum has a very good relationship with first baseman Fielder, who is about to leave the Brewers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
"Whoever gets (Fielder) gets one heck of a player and one heck of a guy," Sveum told reporters after interviewing for the Cubs job.
He said Fielder is a leader who comes to play every day. In other words, he's a Prince of a guy.
Fielder, 27, is expected to command an eight-year contract worth more than the $180 million the New York Yankees gave to Mark Teixeira in 2009.
MARLINS MOVE ON REYES
The Florida Marlins, setting the early pace with an aggressive approach to free agency, will meet with free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes Wednesday, SI.com reported Tuesday.
Reyes, 28, hit .337 with seven homers and 44 RBI in only 126 games with the New York Mets in 2011.
The Marlins also are talking with pitcher Mark Buehrle, former ace of the Chicago White Sox.
There are mixed reports about the Milwaukee Brewers' interest in Reyes. They may be targeting the shortstop because they have little chance of re-signing Fielder, but they are also concerned about Reyes' tendency to get hurt.
The Detroit Tigers reportedly are mulling whether to enter the Reyes sweepstakes.
FRANCONA IN THE CARDS?
Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona was interviewed Tuesday by the St. Louis Cardinals to replace the retired Tony La Russa.
"We just had a dialogue," Francona told the Post Dispatch. "I enjoy talking about baseball -- a lot. Without going into details, we discussed pretty basic philosophy. I'd call it an enjoyable, casual conversation."
Francona also is thought to be a candidate for the Chicago Cubs' managerial vacancy but wouldn't confirm it, saying it was "kind of private."
ORIOLES BOSS NEEDS TO BE SHARP
Dan Duquette has been away from Major League Baseball since 2002.
In a sense, the Baltimore Orioles have been away since 1997.
The Orioles introduced Duquette Tuesday as executive vice-president of baseball operations. It's his first big-league job since being fired nine years ago as Boston Red Sox general manager, soon after new ownership took over.
Duquette was the Montreal Expos GM from September 1991 through January 1994 before going to Boston.
The 53-year-old will have his hands full rebuilding the Orioles -- they have had 14 consecutive losing seasons.
"I'm here to build a contending team that everyone in Baltimore can be proud of," Duquette told the Baltimore Sun. "I've kept my skills sharp ... I've maintained my contacts. My focus is going to be sharper (after being away from the game)."
Duquette has been running a sports academy in Massachusetts.
INTEREST IN ZAMBRANO
The Kansas City Royals are among the teams interested in suspended/semi-retired pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
Zambrano bolted the Cubs locker room early on Aug. 12 and told some people he was retiring. The Cubs suspended him and are likely to do what they can to get rid of his $19-million salary for 2012, including paying part of it.
"We would have to be interested ... Carlos Zambrano is a heckuva competitor," Royals GM Dayton Moore told CSNChicago.com. "Carlos Zambrano has had a lot of success in the major leagues. (He) is actually a very pleasant, easy going, classy person off the field. Sometimes, as with all of us the competitiveness takes over and brings out qualities in us that we are not proud of."
Zambrano, 30, is a three-time all-star with a career record of 125-81 record.
CLEMENS' FEE BID OPPOSED
Federal prosecutors urged a judge Tuesday to reject Roger Clemens' request that the U.S. government pay some of his legal fees and costs, stemming from a prosecution mistake that caused a mistrial in his steroids case.
In July, the judge declared a mistrial because prosecutors mistakenly played a video clip that included inadmissible evidence.
Clemens had been charged with perjury, making false statements and obstruction over testimony to Congress in 2008 when he denied ever taking steroids and human growth hormones during his pitching career. He has pleaded not guilty and faces a new trial in April.
Prosecutors said legal fees may be awarded only if there had been a finding of "sanctionable misconduct that is tantamount to bad faith."