Fielder update: Where could the slugger end up?

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Fielder update: Where could the slugger end up?

Prince Fielder talk will not die down until the slugger signs somewhere. That's just the nature of the business.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer may be playing things very close to the vest this offseason, but media members continue to ponder whether the new Cubs front office would be in the market for such a superstar.

Richard Justice from MLB.com had a column today ranking the most likely destinations for Fielder. He had the Blue Jays first, with the Mariners second and the Cubs coming in at third.

This seems like a legit list. As time goes on, I continue to think more and more that Toronto will make a big run at Fielder to try to jumpstart a following north of the border. Either that or acquiring Canadian Joey Votto in some way, either via trade or waiting until he becomes a free agent after the 2013 season.

The Mariners seem possible, but why would the big man want to play in such a spacious park? But, as Patrick Mooney said on the chat for Tuesday's Chicago Baseball Hot Stove show, the Mariners need to do something to keep up in the AL West and their GM was the scouting director when the Brewers drafted Fielder.

Then there's the Cubs.

They may not be ready for the megadeal free agent, as Mooney has been reporting with consistency this offseason. Maybe that will change, however. Or it just could be the ploy Theo and Jed have--exuding a lack of interest just to play things close to the vest. Doubt it, but it's possible.

The Rangers appear to be out of the sweepstakes and the Brewers are officially going in another direction, but, as Justice points out, there are always such teams as the Nationals and Marlins, who were in on big free agents earlier this offseason.

With the recent flurry of signings by the Angels, the Dodgers may want to take back some of the attention in L.A. and corral the superstar even amidst financial troubles and the sale of the team.

Don't forget about the good, old "mystery team" of course. One of those always seems to pop up.

There's still much to be decided. Hopefully it ends soon, but with the holiday and end of the year coming, Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras, may not reach a deal with his new team until 2012.

Road Ahead: Cubs look for revenge against Pirates

Road Ahead: Cubs look for revenge against Pirates

CSN's Cubs Pregame and Postgame host David Kaplan and analyst David DeJesus discuss the upcoming matchups in this edition of the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Cubs' bats are finally coming around. 

On the back of Anthony Rizzo, who hit three homers this weekend, the North Siders took two out of three from the Cincinnati Reds and have been winners of four out of five overall. 

The offense will attempt to stay in their groove against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who swept the Cubs at Wrigley during the teams' last meeting. 

Luckily for Chicago's pitching staff, Starling Marte won't be anchoring the Pirates' order. The outfielder is serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. 

After Pittsburgh, Joe Maddon's club hits Fenway Park for what should be a wild three-game set against the Red Sox. 

Watch David Kaplan and David DeJesus break down the upcoming matchups in the video above. 

 

John Lackey struggles as Cubs drop series finale to Reds

John Lackey struggles as Cubs drop series finale to Reds

CINCINNATI — With his high leg kick and below-the-radar breaking balls, Bronson Arroyo showed the Cubs a little old-style pitching. Who needs to throw 90 mph to beat the World Series champions?

The 40-year-old righty gave his best performance yet in his long comeback from elbow problems, pitching three-hit ball over six innings on Sunday, and the Cincinnati Reds salvaged a 7-5 victory . Arroyo worked fast, varied the angles of his deliveries, and kept `em guessing with his minimalist pitches.

"I'm happy for him, to see him back up," Chicago catcher Miguel Montero said. "He's a tough pitcher to face. Obviously he's throwing below hitting speed right now."

Arroyo (2-2) needed more than two years to recover from Tommy John surgery. The Reds gave him what amounted to a final chance this spring, and he's back to fooling `em with his unusual repertoire. Jon Jay saw pitches of 67, 74, 83, 75 and 70 mph during one at-bat.

"I don't want to say I had pinpoint control, but I was throwing the breaking ball down and out where it was almost impossible to hit," Arroyo said. "They knew where I was going, but I still had enough late movement to surprise them."

Arroyo allowed Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer - his third of the series - and struck out seven batters for the first time since May 13, 2014.

"This was the first time he looked like the Bronson of his first time through here," manager Bryan Price said, referring to Arroyo's 2006-13 stay in Cincinnati.

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Raisesl Iglesias gave up a pair of runs in the ninth before finishing off the Reds' 3-7 homestand.

Patrick Kivlehan's bases-loaded double highlighted a four-run sixth inning off John Lackey (1-3) and decided a matchup of up-in-years starters. The 38-year-old Lackey and Arroyo have combined for 793 starts in the majors.

Despite the loss, the defending champs took two of three in the series and moved back into first place in the NL Central. No surprise that it happened in Cincinnati - the Cubs have won 17 of their last 22 at Great American Ball Park. They've taken 20 of their last 25 overall against the Reds.

"I have nothing to complain about," manager Joe Maddon said.

Rizzo extended his hitting streak to 12 games - matching his career high - with his two-run homer in the fourth inning. His three-run shot with two outs in the ninth helped the Cubs rally for a 6-5, 11-inning victory in the series opener. He had another three-run homer during a 12-8 win on Saturday.

The Cubs have homered in their last 15 games at Great American. They hit seven in all during the series.