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Nationals “have emerged as the favorite” for Prince Fielder

Jan 2, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT

National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix Reuters

Washington may not have been Prince Fielder‘s first choice, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Nationals “have emerged as the favorite” to sign the free agent first baseman.

Last month general manager Mike Rizzo downplayed Washington’s interest in Fielder, saying that Adam LaRoche was the team’s starting first baseman, but last offseason the Nationals signed a Scott Boras client, Jayson Werth, to a $126 million contract and Boras also represents Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

Haudricourt doesn’t offer any details about dollar figures or contract length, but there’s been lots of previous speculation that Fielder will have to settle for a shorter-term deal than Boras is seeking.

LaRoche is owed $8 million this season with a $10 million option or $1 million buyout for 2013, but missed all but 43 games last year with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

  1. Lukehart80 - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    The NL East may be quite an interesting division in the near future, assuming you aren’t Mets’ fan.

    • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      It’ll still be interesting for Mutts fans – but from a distance.

      • kranepool - Jan 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        As a Mets fan I have to hope MLB doesn’t go the route of the EPL with relegating to lower divisions

  2. canucks18 - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Coming from a Jays fan, because of the Darvish fiasco and how all these “media types” were sooo reliable with what they reported, I wouldn’t get my hopes up until the report comes at the press conference.

    • marshmallowsnake - Jan 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Don’t be too upset about Darvish, he has yet to pitch in the MLB and was awesome at AAAA.

  3. Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    The Gnats are well on their way to being a real player in the NLE. They’ve got some serious talent on the playing field and some more serious talent on its way up from the ethanol fields. If they can sign Fielder for a shorter term than he’s hunting for and jawbone a reasonably priced policy on his legs out of Lloyd’s (and I’d love to see that line slip), all well and good. Otherwise, they still need to choke down the Jayson Werth contract (I look for Werth to have a bounceback year, BTW) and they’d be nuts to hamstring themselves with a Brobdingnagian commitment to the Power Pachyderm when their future looks so bright as it is.

    • xmatt0926x - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      The problem is that even a bounceback year from Werth isn’t worth $17 million/year. What’s a “best year” type of season for Werth based on his play with the Phillies? Maybe a .900 ops which is fine, .280 to .290 avereage, 20 sb’s, 25-28 hr’s, 90 rbi’s tops, good arm in the outfield. sounds like a very nice player but not at that price. To me though that shouldn’t scare away the nats from other big contracts. It was widely reported that they knew they would have to overpay Werth to show they were now a serious franchise. If you shy away from that now then you’ve now sucked down that whole Werth contract and gotten no benefits. Not even just the value of showing that your willing to give out big contracts to big-time players. I’d sign Fielder if I was the Nats.

      • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        Fine, but for how long and for how much? I’ve never disputed that the Teletubby was an asset to the batting order in his current state, only that he’s got a really big potential to become a physical wreck in the near future because of all the padding he carries – on their nickel.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        That actually is worth $17MM. It’s easy to underrate players like him (Bobby Abreu also comes to mind, during his peak), because they’re not the best at any one thing, but are really really good at everything.

        Of course, he won’t be OPS-ing .900 in a few years. The problem with the contract is the length, not the yearly amount.

      • randygnyc - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        Old gator, I couldn’t agree more. He’s above average now. His body, IMO, won’t be able to remain at its grotesque obese level and remain productive for much longer.

        At this point, whoever pays him the most, for the longest, gets to sign him. What hasn’t been determined yet is that going to be 3-4 years (as I suspect) or the 9-10 years fielder wants.

    • spudchukar - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      Good stuff with the Power Pachyderm, but I’m goin’ with the Homerin’ Hippo.

      • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        Howsabout the Homerin’ Hippo with the Hyperextended Hammy?

      • cur68 - Jan 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM

        Homerin’ Hamfisted Hippo. His defence sucks.

      • randygnyc - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        The homerin hippo with the hyperextended “glazed” hammy with a “mound” of potatoes.

    • spudchukar - Jan 2, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      If they do sign Fielder, then they can move Laroche, perhaps for a center fielder. However, if they cannot find one, I say resign Ankiel, and move Werth to center field and/or trade Lannen with Laroch for a centerfielder.

  4. ikedavisnose - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Well, at least the Mets are gonna get a high Draft Pick

    • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Yeah, and it’s lucky Minaya is gone or he was liable to pick a quarterback.

  5. sidelineshot - Jan 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    This guy should fire Boras, take a 3-year contract for $70 million or so, and take it from there. One can only eat some much grub !!!

    • JBerardi - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      That’s like… 22 million a season. If Jackson can negotiate that salary without Boras, he should just quit baseball and become an agent himself.

  6. kinggw - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    This means Fielder will be signing with the Rangers.

  7. bleed4philly - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Makes sense.

  8. canucks18 - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    No I’m not upset about Darvish, kinda relieved actually, but it’s just showing how lots of these rumors are bogus

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    They will soon change their name from Nationals to Bor-asses.

    • JBerardi - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:50 PM

      Haha, his name sounds like “ass”. I can’t believe no one ever thought of that before.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        I don’t even know how to spell his real name…I’ve been writing Bor-ass ever since I have been posting on here. Sorry if I offended your delicate senses.

      • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:20 PM

        Chris, let’s face it – you were put on Earth to offend delicate senses. It’s just your ecological niche.

  10. norfva - Jan 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    If the Nats where to sign Fielder it would impact the team in a whole new way. Having him bat in between Zimmerman and Morse would make them both better. Fielder is not just a power hitter he drives in lots of runs also which in my opinion that is a stat that deserves more attention then homeruns.

  11. proudlycanadian - Jan 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Will Fielder be a “Hold Out” if he does not get a contract close to what he wants?

  12. tn16 - Jan 2, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Boras has screw so many players out of money

  13. luckynucky - Jan 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Are we inching toward the NL DH? With these mega-contracts the possibilities grow. What a NL East Division this will be if Fielder signs on. It’s great now with the Phils getting some competition, but they will still lead the pack. Looks like a 3-way tie for second place. Sorry, Mets fans, but I just don’t see you there….

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    As a Brewer fan I really want to see Fielder go to the AL. Now he has more chances to hit homers against the Crew.

  15. crisisjunky - Jan 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Is Prince still vegetarian? Atlanta could pay him Peanuts.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:08 PM

      Considering he isn’t much smaller than a baby elephant, this would be more apropos than you think…

      • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:22 PM

        The two of you jointly win the day’s slice of pie for that exchange. There’s a precedent for it – Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho winning the Nobel Peace Prize, for example.

  16. muckthefets23 - Jan 3, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Chris you’re not alone, I got told my comment wasn’t worth reading since I referred to him as “bore-ass” in a previous thread. To me the man is the sith lord emperor palpatine of MLB and deserves to have his name made fun of… Especially to offend people with delicate senses.

  17. dfwjournalist - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    As a Rangers fan, I hope he stays in the National League. (I wouldn’t mind the Rangers signing him if it were to a shorter-term contract, but that’s looking doubtful.)

  18. westcoastredbird - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I’m surprised the Giants haven’t got involved. They’re still trying to find a left handed bat ever since Baroid left. That way Prince could work out with Kung Fu Panda’s trainer in the off season. Actually I think he already is.

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