Hours before the officially opening of baseball’s winter meetings in Dallas on Monday, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos says he was on the five-yard line as far as closing in on a move, via of free agency or trade.
So, which is it, and what player(s) are involved?
Free-agent closers Ryan Madson or Francisco Cordero? Fellow stoppers Huston Street, Andrew Bailey or Matt Capps?
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips?
Or, how about an even bigger name like free agent Prince Fielder, son of former Blue Jays slugging designated hitter Cecil Fielder?
"We’ve got some trades that are appealing. Both sides are very close, same with free agents," Anthopoulos told reporters.
There is some thought that Fielder, a first baseman from Florida, might prefer to spend the rest of his major league career in the east after five full seasons in Milwaukee.
A CBSCleveland.com report over the weekend said Fielder has narrowed his choices to three teams: Washington Nationals, Brewers and Blue Jays.
Toronto has finished fourth in the American League East the past four years and, with an 81-81 record in 2011, sat 16 games in arrears of the division champions, the New York Yankees.
Many would say the Blue Jays could use another big bat in the middle of the batting order to contend, and there is none bigger on the free market this winter besides Fielder and Albert Pujols.
In 2011, the 27-year-old Fielder posted a .299 batting average, 38 home runs, 120 runs batted in, .415 on-base percentage and 95 runs scored with Milwaukee. The five-foot-11, 275-pounder is also durable, having played 162, 161 and 162 contests in each of the last three seasons.
Fielder would be a game-changer and could help Toronto at the gate after the Jays ranked 25th out of 30 major league teams last year in attendance with an average of 22,445 per game.
Another reason some people in the game are urging the Jays to pursue Fielder is the fact an additional wild-card team will be added next season or in 2013.
But there is a cost. However, Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston has said previously that the team payroll could increase to $120 million from $70 million.
Visions of two-time defending major league home run champion Jose Bautista batting in front of cleanup hitter Prince Fielder would remind fans in Milwaukee and elsewhere of Ryan Braun and Fielder.
Batting ahead of Fielder over the last five years enabled Braun to win the National League most valuable player award, capturing 20 of 32 first-place votes.