The Chicago Cubs are currently in pursuit of both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, according to a report from Fox Sports, as the new front office leadership in Chicago looks to make a big splash in their first winter with the club.
Pujols and Fielder, both free-agent first basemen, are considered to be the top two sluggers on the market. According to Fox Sports, Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer are particularly interested in landing one of these two free-agents because they believe that with the contract extensions given to several of the game’s best hitters in recent months, the market for sluggers will be weak in the coming years. Pujols and Fielder both have led the league in home runs and RBIs at some point in the past five seasons.
Epstein and Hoyer have made their intentions clear that they wish to rebuild the Cubs from the ground up, and reports have said that any player on the Cubs roster is available for trade. Last season Carlos Pena served as the club's first baseman and hit .225/.357/.462 for Chicago with 28 home runs and 80 RBIs. Pena is now himself a free agent, however Pujols and Fielder are viewed as potentially significant upgrades.
In 2011 Fielder hit .299/.415/.566 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI in 162 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. It is not believed that he will re-sign with Milwaukee. Pujols hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 home runs and 99 RBI. The 31-year-old has won three Most Valuable Player awards and has a career 162 game average of .328/.420/.617 with 42 home runs and 126 RBI. Yesterday it was reported that league executives believed the Cardinals were heavy favorites to re-sign Pujols, however some expressed that was because it seemed there were no other serious offers for the slugger at the time.