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The Early Lead
Posted at 05:54 PM ET, 12/14/2011

Prince Fielder is on the market; Cubs, Rangers, Mariners are interested

Now that Albert Pujols has found his new home on the West Coast, Prince Fielder is the most coveted slugger remaining in this year’s free agent class.

And for all the general managers out there looking for a power-hitting first baseman to anchor the middle of their batting order, super-agent Scott Boras has just the guy for you.

Sure everyone knows that Fielder finished second in the National League with 38 home runs and 120 RBI in 2011. But Boras has far more in-depth numbers, trends and anecdotes to show you just how suited the 27-year-old could be to lead your franchise for years to come — 73 pages worth, to be exact.

As has become the routine anytime one of the top free agents represented by the Scott Boras Corporation hits the market, general managers are currently flipping through a 73-page binder celebrating the past achievements and future potential of Fielder.

The last few years of production at the plate should be more than enough to land Fielder a fat contract somewhere, but this is a reason why numerous big-name players enjoy having Boras in their corner.

“Prince is a very modest guy, but there were a few things in (the book) he really, really loved,” Boras told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. “He told me, ‘I don’t have much in my man cave — just my Silver Slugger (Awards) and some other things I’ve done. But this book is going in my man cave.’ I figure if we made it into his man cave, it held high standards.”

So who else is pouring through the pages touting Fielder as “Historically Great Through Age 27”? The Mariners, Cubs, Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins and Orioles are all rumored to be interested in the big lefty. But the massive 10-year, $254 million contract the Angels just handed Pujols — a player four years older than Fielder, mind you — will no doubt drive up market value. And how many teams will be willing to shell out that much money to get Fielder?

If they’re inclined to believe the projections detailed in Boras’ book, GMs should be lining up Black Friday style.

To quote Crasnick: “Boras’ statistical analysts gaze into the future and point out that in five years, Fielder will have joined Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Mel Ott and Babe Ruth as one of six players with 400 home runs, 1,000 RBIs and 1,000 walks through age 32. A few pages later, the book projects that Fielder will have 600 homers, 1,700 RBIs and 1,500 walks by age 37.”

Now the main question facing teams is: Are you buying what Fielder — and Boras — are selling?

More from Washington Post Sports:

Boswell: In baseball, how much is too much?

Early Lead: Ryan Braun PED case is worth following

Early Lead: Jimmy Rollins could see bump in interest after Pujols signing

Baseball Insider: Angels shock baseball with 10-year deal for Pujols

By  |  05:54 PM ET, 12/14/2011

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