The Prince Fielder signing has implications for the Cubs in that it weakens a rival and puts to bed any far-fetched (yet still lingering) rumors that the Cubs had any interest in signing the first baseman. While a Fielder signing was always unlikely, the deal impacted the Cubs in a number of ways...
- Bryan LaHair: The big first baseman now officially has a clear path to open the season as the Cubs first baseman, though he may only be keeping it warm for Anthony Rizzo. It's LaHair's job now, though, and he can make that decision tough for the Cubs by playing well.
- Anthony Rizzo: The first baseman of the future won't have an immovable object in his way. He should have a much easier time wresting the job away from LaHair than he would have had taking it from Fielder.
- Alfonso Soriano: One less suitor for the Cubs left fielder. It's obvious Soriano doesn't fit the Cubs new philosophy of defense, OBP, etc and he won't be in Chicago long term. The Fielder signing assured he won't be heading to Detroit. Soriano reportedly wants to play for a contender, but those choices seem to be dwindling.
- Yoenis Cespedes: One less suitor for the Cuban mega-star. Detroit was one team that many pegged as having a legitimate shot to challenge the Marlins and Cubs. Ultimately they chose the safer, albeit far more expensive route.
- Matt Garza: Garza was a rumored target of the Tigers and while some think that maybe the Tigers have spent their money and are done making moves, the Fielder addition makes it imperative that the team look beyond the AL Central and start thinking about competing for a World Series ring. The Fielder signing also moves Miguel Cabrera to 3B, helping give the Tigers what is perhaps the worst defensive infield in recent memory. Could the Tigers use a Matt Garza type pitcher who is less reliant on his defense than holdovers Rick Porcello and Doug Fister? The Tigers certainly have the offense to compete, but the defense and pitching is a different story. Garza could help them alleviate both problems.
- Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer: While not many front office members are going to send Scott Boras a Christmas card anytime soon, the Cubs brass could learn a little from the hard-driving agent. The lesson is this: Don't give in and settle for less. Sooner or later a team is going to want what you have. They can play coy, say the price is too high, flirt with other options -- but in the end, the Cubs have the best SP on the market in Matt Garza, just as Boras had the best player in Prince Fielder. Boras didn't settle for anything less than a premium for that commodity -- and neither should the Cubs.