Are the Cubs really "front-runners" for Fielder?

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Are the Cubs really "front-runners" for Fielder?

Another day, another rumor surrounding the Cubs and Prince Fielder.

This time, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports believes Fielder is the Cubs' "player to lose."

Rosenthal calls the Cubs front-runners for the big first baseman, but also admits nobody should be scheduling a news conference anytime soon.

According to the national baseball writer, the Rangers and Marlins are out on the bidding for Fielder and it appears to be the Cubs against the Mariners. If that is the case, some think Chicago will emerge as the winners from that.

The Cubs still do not want to give Fielder a 10-year deal and nobody -- including Rosenthal -- is reporting anything different.

However, at the same time, new Cubs manager Dale Sveum says this may just be a lot of talk right now:

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Patrick Mooney Dale Sveum says he hasn't reached out to Prince Fielder.
Dec 16 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

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Patrick Mooney Sveum on Prince and Cubs: "At this point I think it's a lot of media talking more than us doing anything. We haven't had any talks."
Dec 16 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

So more conflicting reports. Though at this point, that should come as no surprise to anybody.

Rosenthal and other national writers do not have the same pulse on the Cubs beat writers like Mooney have here in Chicago.

No idea how this will end up, but again, there will always be rumors tied in with the Cubs and Fielder until the slugger signs a contract.

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.

With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.

Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.

“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”

Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.

[MORE: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.

“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.

“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”

Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

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Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

The Cubs take on the Los Angeles Dodgers today, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 2:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Ryan Dempster. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester (3-2, 3.19 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.01 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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