Zduriencik downplays ‘front-runner’ role for Fielder

Former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden suggested Tuesday on his Twitter account that the Mariners were the “front runners” for free agent Prince Fielder, with the Brewers, Cubs and Blue Jays only interested in shorter-term deals.

But Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik disagreed with the stance later in the evening when meeting with several Seattle media members in his hotel suite in the Anatole Hilton in Dallas.

“I don’t want to talk about Prince, but I would say the wording of that is misleading,” Zduriencik said. “Because you don’t know, on any free agent, I have no clue how many clubs are in on any free agent that we’re talking to.

“Even today, the guys I’ve sat with tell me they’ve got five clubs interested in their player or players. And in any case, how do you know that? Another ballclub is not going to tell you. As I’ve said with all of this stuff, I’d prefer to be low key on any discussion. My style is not to build up a big fanfare. Sometimes these things get legs of their own.

“To say anybody is a front runner, I don’t know how that would have come out.”

Zduriencik said he ran into Bowden in the hotel lobby earlier in the day, but the two exchanged nothing more than hellos. Bowden is now working for ESPN and MLB Network.

-Greg Johns

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