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01/13/12 5:40 PM EST
Rangers said to have met with Fielder
Pursuit of slugger may be backup option to Darvish talks
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
The Rangers met on Friday with free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder at a Dallas-area hotel, according to multiple media reports.
Fielder is the highest-profile free agent remaining on the market. The Nationals also are believed to be heavily involved with Fielder, who, according to reports, is seeking a long-term deal with a no-trade clause. The Mariners have also been connected with Fielder.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported the meeting on Friday afternoon via Twitter. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, citing a source, reported on Friday via Twitter that the Rangers' interest in Fielder is more of a fallback option in case they can't sign Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish. The Rangers, who submitted the winning bid to negotiate with Darvish, have a deadline of Wednesday afternoon to sign the right-hander to a contract.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the trip to Texas is the start of a tour of several teams by Fielder, who is represented by agent Scott Boras.
Boras told MLB.com on Thursday that he expects to have a contract before Spring Training for Fielder, who has posted a .288 average with 230 homers and a .920 on-base plus slugging percentage across seven seasons, all with the Brewers.