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Nationals not interested in Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder

Dec 5, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols AP

Last month some reports linked Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols to the Nationals, but that can safely be ruled out now.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke to a Nationals source who classified the team’s alleged interest as “not even a good lie.”

Washington already has $8 million committed to Adam LaRoche at first base, although he’s a question mark after missing all but 43 games with a shoulder injury.

Obviously if Pujols or Fielder feel like lowering their demands the number of teams legitimately in the mix for them would increase, but right now the market for the slugging first basemen seems pretty well defined as just 2-3 teams apiece.

  1. Ari Collins - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I’ve never understood the rumors. Even besides the presence of Laroche, isn’t Michael Morse their 1B of the present and future? He hit 30 homers last year. Am I missing something?

    • CJ - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Nope.

      Then again, almost exactly a year ago we were all saying “Why on earth are the Nats going to give Jayson Werth a $100 million + contact?! Am I missing something?”

    • natstowngreg - Dec 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Morse was their 1B of the present for a while. Then he moved back to LF to give Chris Marrero an extended tryout.

      The Nats are on the hook for LaRoche for one more season, so he will play 1B if he can stay on the field. Morse will play LF, unless he’s needed at 1B again. In 2013, Morse could move to 1B full-time, with Bryce Harper in the OF.

      In the meantime, Rizzo can use the cash not spent on Albert or Prince on some combination of Buehrle/Wilson/Oswalt; a CF; spare parts (LH reliever, bench); and an extension of Ryan Zimmerman’s contract.

  2. withoutdoubt27 - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Morse can play the outfield. He platooned in left before LaRoche got hurt. Morse’s bat got hot around the same time, otherwise I assume he’d have shared time at first, or vice verse; if LaRoche doesn’t get hurt, Morse still gets hot and becomes everyday LF.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Isn’t he a pretty poor outfielder, though? I guess if you signed Pujols or Fielder, you’d put up with Morse’s defense in LF to make room for him, but it’s a pretty inefficient use of resources. And then where would Harper play when he makes it up?

      • natstowngreg - Dec 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        If LaRoche can play, his superior defense at 1B (which, in turn, improves the overall infield defense) leaves Morse in LF. Granted, Morse isn’t a good defensive LF, but the Nats can live with it, given his bat and LaRoche’s defense. If LaRoche is hurt again, Morse can slide to 1B, where he’s not that bad.

        Hard to say what will happen with Harper since we don’t know (1) who is going to play CF (Werth, or someone to be acquired) or (2) when Harper will be called up. The Nats could end up with a surplus at 1B and corner OF.

  3. cintiphil - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Well, it seems to me that the Nat’s ARE interested in one of them. Usually the hiring or firing follows the denial, right?

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