Nationals Emerge As Favorite For Fielder?

5:11pm: The Nationals’ local TV revenue is about to “double, triple or more,” a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Owner Ted Lerner is already the wealthiest in MLB, according to Forbes.  One of Rosenthal’s sources expects the Nationals to sign Fielder, though the first baseman will want a full no-trade clause.  LaRoche’s presence on the roster wouldn't stop the team from making a move, Rosenthal writes.

2:17pm: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has quotes from the always-colorful Scott Boras:

"As I’ve told many, there’s a lot of passengers on the PF Flyer.  I keep having discussions with teams, and they keep coming back after those discussions. We are having a very robust and constant communication with many teams.  We’ve had an opportunity over the last 10 days to certainly get more definition, I would say. Normally in free agency, after a period of time you have teams that move to the background. When we think that’s happened, those teams have called back and they’ve changed their position."

The Lerner family's stance against a big-money splash has thawed, writes Kilgore.  Who better to pursue than a man Boras describes as "a combination of Henry Kissinger and Frank Howard?"

10:34am: One MLB official told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recently that "word is spreading in the industry that the Washington Nationals have emerged as the favorite" to sign Prince Fielder.

What to make of this rumor?  Haudricourt is reliable, but he made it clear that he is relaying the opinion of "the industry" as passed through one MLB official.  So the source doesn't appear to be from Scott Boras' camp, nor from the Nationals.  Still, the rumor echoes something ESPN's Buster Olney wrote on Thursday: "Some rival executives strongly believe that Washington will be the eventual landing place for Fielder."   That same day, a Nationals player suggested to Jon Heyman the team was in the mix.  

The biggest obstacle to the Nationals signing Fielder seems to be having Adam LaRoche under contract for one year, which did not seem like a major impediment prior to the offseason.  GM Mike Rizzo left the door open a crack for Fielder last Wednesday when talking to Mike Ferrin on MLB Network Radio, speaking at length about LaRoche but adding, "As far as, are we going to dabble our toe in that [Fielder] water?  Those are decisions that we make early on in the process and we've more or less decided that Adam is going to be our first baseman unless something extraordinary, out of the ordinary happened, that's how we're going to go to Spring Training."

198 Responses to Nationals Emerge As Favorite For Fielder? Leave a Reply

  1. Andy Frank 4 years ago

    Who the hell cares about LaRoche?? He’s a bench splinter at the best of times.

    • Do 100 RBI guys grow on trees?  The issue is his injury last year and whether he will be back to 100%.

      • $3513744 4 years ago

        Ummm…yeah, okay.  The guy did that once in his career.  Not only are there concerns with being healthy, but 1st base is pretty offensively competitive position–and he’s not really up to par.  If Prince is an option, no one cares about LaRoche.  It’s just laughable to even compare them.

      • vtadave 4 years ago

        He also had a so-so .788 OPS the year he reached 100 RBI. Not exactly a number a top offensive first baseman would be carrying. Now mix in a pretty serious should injury and I can see why the Nats would view him as a sunk cost.

    • redsx968 4 years ago

      Exactly. Of all the things keeping you from signing Fielder, LaRoche should NOT be it. regardless of salary

  2. RBIBaseball 4 years ago

    Nationals maybe going in for the kill this season.

    • FillyPhan 4 years ago

      You mean suicide.

    • JTT11 4 years ago

      And they should be.  there is potential for an open door to the playoffs.
      If Wang can get back to his yankee form – which after watching him last year i believe he can – the nats can be a really good team.
      Stras is your ace, Gio is a solid #2, zimmerman can keep the pressure on, and if wang can get back to form he can keep the ball on the ground, go 8 innings, and rest the pen.
      add your MI at the top of the line up, followed by zim, prince, werth, and morse and you have one heck of a line up. 

      Being able to bat a player like werth 5 or 6 makes a team’s offense deadly.

      • RBIBaseball 4 years ago

        I was going to say the same thing, except I would put zimmermann as a number 2. Gio is a solid 3. Plus harper will be ready halfway through 2012/ beginning of 2013.

        • hallwagner 4 years ago

          it would be stras, gio, zimm, lannan, wang because it would be RLRLR. also people forget mentioning our bullpen, storen, clippard, and rodriguez? games are basically over in the 7th, although im not holding my breath on rodriguez, he really needs to maintain the better control he had towards the end of last year. otherwise he’ll be a detriment

  3. wow i hope they sign him nationals would make it to the playoffs either as one of the wild cards or division winners i cant wait until they are good

    • Yeah, you are going to beat the Phillies, the Braves, and the Marlins easily.


      • John Kappel 4 years ago

        In fairness, the Nationals with Fielder are better then the Marlins. Even with Reyes (who can’t stay healthy) and Buehrle who will be their #2 starter at best on that team, the Nats are still better. But you are correct in saying there is no way they beat the Phillies or especially the Braves. 

        • hallwagner 4 years ago

          nats sign fielder i think we will be neck and neck with the phillies

          • John Kappel 4 years ago

            I could see that but the class of the division the next couple of years isn’t going to be the Phillies, it’ll be the Braves. 

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            really doubt that. rotation is relatively old and filled with question marks (do we know if jurrjens is 100%?) and prospects. lineup is aging and filled with question marks. chipper jones is at the end if his days, and if uggla didn’t have that hitting streak you’re looking at a guy who hits .200 with bad defense. to be brutally honest, i think the braves will finish 4th in that division.

            my projected division order (if nats got fielder)

            1. PHI
            2. WAS
            3. MIA
            4. ATL
            5. NY

            to note: i also think the top 4 will be very close, within 10 games from 1st to 4th

          • Jason_F 4 years ago

            “rotation is relatively old and filled with question marks”
            Hudson – 36 yo
            Jurrjens – 25
            Beachy – 25
            Hanson – 25
            Minor – 24

            Are we talking old, relative to a little league team?  Then yes, you are absolutely right.  Not to mention, they have Teheran and Delgado at the ready.  There are about 25 other teams that would love to have these kind of “question marks” in their rotation.

            Also, I wouldn’t call a lineup that includes Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla and Michael Bourn “aging.”

            To be brutally honest, I think you are bad at evaluating baseball teams.

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            uggla is 31,  thats aging in my book. also i can name alot more than 5 teams that have better rotations than the braves. lets see


            face it: every facet of the braves game is mediocre, except of course for that bullpen which i would say is the best in the MLB

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            Dodgers, and Marlins do not have better rotations than ATL. Nats maybe slightly better. 31 is prime for a player, 27-32, then declining years aka Jayson Werth who is 33. Uggla fixed whatever was wrong in the second half, let’s just hope he doesn’t struggle like he did in the first half again

          • What’s up with rounding Werth’s age up a couple years?  Why does everyone do this?  Werth is 31.  Will be 32 in May.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            It makes them feel younger about themselves..but he is actually 32 at this moment, so each of you are half right

          • Jason_F 4 years ago

            Great job nitpicking the one position player I mentioned that is over 30.  And I hate to break it to you, but 31 is not “aging.”  Uggla should, for all intents and purposes, be bashing 30 home runs for at least the next three years.

            As for the rotation, you are overrating quite a few of the teams you mentioned.  The point still stands, given the youth of the rotation (which you called “relatively old” even though 6 out of the 7 possible starters are 25 years old or younger…nice job there), I stand by my statement that 25 others teams would gladly swap their group of starters for what the Braves are planning to run out there.

            I understand that you’re probably a fan of one of the other NL East teams (Nats?), but that is clouding your judgement.  Me?  I’m a Giants fan, so I’ll just head that accusation off at the pass.

            Just go ahead and admit that, yes, Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones are in the twilight of their career, but you projected that onto the rest of the team.  You made blanket statements that were blatantly false.

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            chipper and uggla (and theriot if they sign him) we’re who i was referring to as aging guys in the lineup

          • Jason_F 4 years ago

            So, what you’re saying is that their lineup is aging because of one guy who is not even on the team, one guy who is in his prime as a 31 year old and a surefire (albeit old) HOFer who put up 2.1 WAR in his age 39 season.  Nice logic.  I know it’s hard to admit when you’re wrong…

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            well scratch  the old talk then, your lineup is still full of question marks.

          • Garret Strachota 4 years ago

            you forgot the brewers….

          • Guest 4 years ago

            i thought jurrjens was out the door??….it seems like every other day he has been traded somewhere….

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            Who is relatively old? ATL? First team in history that will start 3 22 year olds in their opening day lineup(pastornicky, Heyward, and Freeman). Rotation Jurrjens will be 26, Hanson 25(until August), Beachy 25(until September), Minor 24, and Tim Hudson 36(until July).

            So Hudson is the only guy above 30, and is the guy that provides veteran leadership to the other guys. If they get injured just call up Randall Delgado, and Julio Teheran two awesome prospects.

            You’re projection of Miami is way out of proportion. Think about it, they replaced Juan Oviedo aka Leo Nuñez with Heath Bell, that will provide some improvement, but not a lot, Oviedo was pretty good himself. They’re replacing Javier Vazquez with Mark Buehrle pretty much the same production.

            So really all they did to improve was signing Jose Reyes, and that alone won’t make them better than the Braves. They still don’t know about Josh Johnson either, Hanley Ramirez unhappy and injured as well, Jose Reyes has durability issues as well.

            In other words they have a lot of potential if they stayed healthy, but seriously doubt that will happen and they’ll have to depend on their farm system if something happens to one of their starters, and they have absolutely nobody that can pitch at an mlb level right now.

            Nats can play, they are scarier than the Marlins. Great bullpen, strong rotation, good offense, bad defense, little speed, lot of injuries. Nats and Braves are gonna be close even if they don’t sign Fielder

          • redsx968 4 years ago

            Buerhle will be much better for the marlins than vasquez

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            yeah 200 IP with a 3.50 ERA……exactly the same

          • redsx968 4 years ago

            I can find you two pitchers who throw 200 IP w/ 3.50 ERAs that are completely different and have totally different amounts of success…

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            that was also wayyy above average for vazquez. i would much more expect 200 IP with around a 4.25 ERA IF he doesn’t retire. he really shouldnt retire, he’s still got a lot left in the tank

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            well uggla is aging for one. also who is your shortstop? there was talk of ryan theriot, and that’s just sad, although i guess hes an upgrade over a-gon the worser

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            22 year old Tyler Pastornicky, splitting time between AAA and AA he hit 314AVG 773 OPS and 27 steals….Theriot would be bench player

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

             Any specific reason?  I’m only asking because I don’t see anything to get all that excited about, but I honestly don’t know a ton about the Braves (or their farm system), so there very well could be something I don’t know, or that I’m not seeing.

          • The Braves are going to have to realize the season doesn’t end in August for that to happen.

          • the nats have something the phillies,braves and marlins dont have, and thats young talent on their major league club. the phillies will be with out howard and no one knows for sure how long an achillies tear is not an easy injury to come back from, utley cant stay healthy and thome is a hit a homerun or get out kind of hitter. the marlins aside from reyes injry risk they will have club house drama with hanley because he only wants to play SS. the braves if they stay healthy and their two young pitchers if they dont perform better then last year will not even be mentioned. not to mention even with out all the pick ups the nats had this past season they still beat up on the phillies at times. i can see the nats winning their divison if they bring up Harper. their line  up witill be scary with zimmerman,fielder,harper,morse and werth. whether anyone wants to believe it or not the nats are going to be contenders if they pick up fielder. and they can easily flip laroache to a team like tampa for a back of the rotation starter or relief pitcher.

          • melonis_rex 4 years ago

            So, umm… Dom Brown, Vance Worley, Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan. 

            But yeah, ONLY the Nats have young talent. 

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            forgot mike minor, brandon beachy, craig kimbrel. nl east is loaded with young talent

          • diehardmets 4 years ago

            This comment thread is getting more and more depressing. 

          • Guest 4 years ago

            you mean coughlin who spent all year in the minors last year after winning ROY award??

          • JunKim 4 years ago

            I wonder who would send something valuable even if it is back-end rotation arm for a guy like Laroche, who had only 9.4WAR over 8 seasons, which is roughly 1.2WAR/season.  He had career low year with injury, -0.2WAR.  

            Nationals may have to eat 5~6m out of his 8m contract and will only receive C prospect.

          • FillyPhan 4 years ago

            The reasoning they beat the phillies next year, is because they were able to win a game or two last year? Thats a strong agruement considering I doubt there were many team last year that got swept by anyone in their div.

            Also you forgot our starting LF John Mayberry Jr. If he is able to play like he did last season, will only make the offense more productive. I like it when people say its all age, but yet to state that with only the everyday lineup for 7 games, were still able to most run in the 2nd half. And thats with all the injuries you mentioned. I doubt the phillies will suffer from the amount of injuries they had last year. Just wait for a full season from our corner OFers. The run production wont be an issue.

          • redsx968 4 years ago

            This is a ridiculous, assuming comment. Most of the points have already been addressed in other parts of the thread, so I won’t be redundant, but I wouldnt even know where to start picking this apart

        • Natsfan89 4 years ago

          What do you mean “especially the Braves”? The Nationals split the season series with them last year and the Braves havent done anything to improve this offseason.

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            acquired Bourn in July, and traded Derek Lowe

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        Assuming the Nats sign Fielder I could see them contending for the division title by 2013; that would be a pretty sick team (at least until some of these huge contracts for questionable players start coming back to haunt them).

        • Guest 4 years ago

          the wild card in all this will be harper….if he comes out guns-a-blazing, yeah this will be a team not to be trifled with

    • Lastings 4 years ago

      Yeah, because games are won with talent on-paper. I love how everyone forgets that, just because you sign or acquire previously talented players is automatic that their success will carryover with their new team. You can ask the Eagles or the Cubs how that’s worked out for them…

      • Guest 4 years ago

        you are a prime example of that, lastings milledge

  4. NL East is going to be tough this year, imagine a 3,4,5 of Harper, Fielder, and Zimmerman

    • Snoochies8 4 years ago

      well, that wouldn’t be this year, harper’s gonna be in the minors for at least one more year, september call up maybe. however, yes, that would be a sicknasty core for the future

      • hallwagner 4 years ago

        and there was a lot of talk about that if harper does well in ST that he would start the year in right field for the nats

        • Harper is going to be a beast in the majors. he might struggle the first month or two but once he gets use to being up there the kid is going to be one of the best hitting outfielders in baseball.

    • hallwagner 4 years ago

      yea it would be zimmerman, fielder, morse

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Harper hasn’t played a MLB game yet and already he’s the best hitter on the team?

    • And Morse? The Dude hit 31 bombs last year and he’s in his prime. Having a healthy Werth bat 2nd and a guy like Morse 6th in that lineup could be deadly.

  5. firealyellon 4 years ago

    Cub fans throw tantrum in three, two, one….

    • Bob9988 4 years ago

      No no no no.  M’s fans throw tantrum in three, two, one….
      You don’t have to watch the worse offense in major league history, we do.  And you have a pitcher batting.

  6. cyberboo 4 years ago

    Washington has the reputation for going after big names and Fielder wouldn’t be any different.  They signed Werth and having LaRoche signed for one year doesn’t create a problem at first.  It just creates an expensive bench player.  The question remains though, will the Nationals pony up 8 – 10 years of Fielder and 200M, knowing that he could turn into a liability really quickly, handicapping their team for years?  Everything is rosy when a player is 27 without injury concerns, but as athletes age, their bodies break down, metabolisms change, leaving them a shell of their former selves.  A-Rod is a prime example and he has been in shape every year, but is now taking treatments for an arthritic shoulder and knees. 

    Fielder is big-framed, seen as overweight, and that will only get worse as he ages, when his metabolism slows.  The added weight only compounds the pressure on the joints of his legs, making him very high risk.  The same is true of Sabathia, where one or two more knee surgeries ends his career.  New York can absorb his 25M liability, but the question is asked if the Nats can do the same in a few years.

    • John Kappel 4 years ago

      Even with an 8 year contract, he is 35 in his last year of it. Lance Berkman was 35 this past year and look at the numbers he put up. I wouldn’t go more then 8 but if you could get his production for the next 8 years that is awesome. Even if you get it for 6 of those 8 years the deal is a net positive and will go down as being better then the Pujols deal. 

      • hallwagner 4 years ago

        yea i mean we can have a horrible fielding 1B if he’s hitting 40 homers and walking 100 times a year

    • oscargamble 4 years ago

      The answer is absolutely yes they would.  DC has been not only devoid of a winner in any sport but REALLY bad teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB for years, closer to decades.  The Caps, Georgetown, and Maryland basketball have had their brief moments but something like this along with the development of the rest of the team would catapult them to the top of the DC pecking order which is highly desirable in such a large market.

    • mauerfan 4 years ago

      Didn’t Fielder lose a ton of weight though? I saw him early last year and he didn’t look horrible.

      • I love that we all follow a sport where a guy who “didn’t look terrible” is about to get paid $25 million a year.

    • rockfordone 4 years ago

      Let’s make it easy – Fielder is a huge risk. Just go Konerko and Thornton for LaRoche and Storen

      • hallwagner 4 years ago

        so an aging 1B and a proven young closer for an even older 1B and a guy who has done well in relief but has yet to really prove himself in a closing role. way to go in the pretty fair, but really unnecessary trade suggestions department.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        poor paulie’s kness are about done bro…it looked painful to watch him during his home run trot

    • FillyPhan 4 years ago

      They did it with Werth.

  7. i am pretty sure it will take while for a team to sign him and when his asking price comes down cause of that the blue jays will jump might at him an make a deal if blue jays where evolved they would be considered the favorites 

    • Morley C 4 years ago

      If the blue jays were evolved they’d be super-intelligent upright bird-people, and they would take over the world.

  8. CommissionerBart 4 years ago

    Pay him a ton of money but don’t be held captive to his likely decline. Fitness clauses? Club options after 3 or 4 years? I think he can help the Nationals GREATLY in the short run. In the long run, he could become an expensive (and expandive) giant albatross.

  9. Todd Boss 4 years ago

    Its the rumor that won’t go away.  The addition of Fielder would make the Nats a 95 win team (if you believe that added WAR actually equates to wins on the field … Gio’s a 5 war player, Fielder the same, and add in healthy full seasons of both Zimmerman and Strasburg and its relatively easy to go from 80 to 95 wins).

    Imagine this 2-3-4-5-6: Werth, Zimmerman, Fielder, Morse, and Ramos.  Harper eventually, plus you’ve got Espinosa thrown in there as a 20-homer threat at either leadoff or 7-hole.  That’s some potential firepower.

    • Stark2k 4 years ago

      Even theoretically WAR would only add those wins if the additions were occupying a position/rotation spot that literally gave the Nationals replacement value.  I don’t care to look up the specifics, but I doubt thats the situation.

      • WolandJR 4 years ago

        the nats had alex cora and jerry hariston subbing for zimmerman. livan hernandez and jason marquis filled the rotation spots that gio gonzolez and strasburg will man this year. morse will be playing left this year (instead of first where he put up beastly numbers) a position that was manned by the likes of brian bixler, jerry hariston, roger bernadina, johnny gomes, and that other dork from cincy… Anyway, it is not a stretch to assume that with Fielder in the lineup the team will have improved by 10-15 wins on paper. Even without Fielder, the team has probably improved by 7-11 wins on paper.

  10. kräftig. entschieden 4 years ago

    If it’s on a 3/4 year deal, maybe. Rizzo isn’t dumb enough to sign Fielder to a longer-term deal without the DH option. Although if it is a shorter deal, it’s likely to be 25-30 million AAV. I wonder if Boras would bite for 4/115.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      He was dumb enough to sign Dunn, so who knows.

      • CommissionerBart 4 years ago

        Rizzo is a scout–not GM material–not qualified to handle the biz aspects of the job. And now that’s influencing even his scouting talents. Offers/gives up too much, whether in trade for other players or cash for FAs, so he can get sustained publicity himself. Media hound.

        • hallwagner 4 years ago

          and signed, strasburg, storen, harper, and rendon and a slew of other great prospects in 3 draft years.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            In defense of Rizzo’s detractors anybody with the #1 overall pick who DOESN’T draft Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper should be considered insane.

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            true that lol

          • kräftig. entschieden 4 years ago

            There isn’t a deal yet that he’s made that’s proven to be an outright failure. Werth obviously disappointed this year, but it’s too early to call the deal a complete failure. Albeit, it’s only been two and a half years, but he’s taken a 100-loss team in 2009 and turned it into a wild-card contender in 2012. He’s been fortunate that some prospects panned out, but he righted the ship and hasn’t done anything so egregiously bad that it’s knocked the Nationals off course for contention.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            yeah…i especially liked that langerhans for umm that guy morse…..the guy has made really decent moves and the one that was straight bad was werth…..what rizzo didn’t understand was that werth was a cog in a well oiled machine, not a super star

      • hallwagner 4 years ago

        you obviously don’t know anything. dunn hit 76 homers, had 193 BB, and 208 RBI’s in his 2 years in WAS and managed to have 2 of the best batting averages of his career there(260, 267). for 24 MM total, that is a relative bargain

      • derek russell 4 years ago

        That was Bowden

      • melonis_rex 4 years ago

        Dunn earned his contract with the Nats. He cost 20MM, and produced 19MM worth of value + Alex Meyer and Bryan Goodwin as comp picks. Fair deal. 

        And that was Jim Bowden, not Rizzo

      • oscargamble 4 years ago

        At least Rizzo doesn’t sign every ex-Red like Jim Bowden did for years.

      • kräftig. entschieden 4 years ago

        Incorrect. Jim Bowden signed Dunn. Also, they got two years of 142 and 135 wRC+ for 10 million a year. Shoddy defense obviously, but it really was a pretty good deal in the long term. Got them 2 picks in the deepest draft in recent memory.

  11. Stark2k 4 years ago

    Even if he does, plenty of top prospects never reach their hype… yet alone in their rookie year at age 19. 

    Even historical standouts like Griffey Jr. wern’t really a force for a couple years.

    edit: Obviously a reply to Harper talk, and I know I used the reply button. Hmm.

  12. Sully65 4 years ago

    I just hope the Nationals stay patient with Stras and Zim. Stras has to be on inning max for 2012 I would hope. This would make them a beast of a team

  13. That the Washington Nationals are in the hunt to me suggests that Scott Boras misgauged the market. I think that Fielder’s price may be coming down to 4-5 years in the range of $82M to $110M.

    If this rumor is true, the Nationals do not need to bid against themselves.

    • rikersbeard 4 years ago

      No way he goes for that little. Then teams like the jays and Rangers jump in and go at least five.

    • SunsetStripper 4 years ago

      He already turned down 5/100 from Milwaukee a couple of years ago.  I can’t see him accepting 82.

  14. oscargamble 4 years ago

    Don’t forget – their arguably two best pitchers – Zimm and Stras both have had TJ surgery.

  15. I think Cyberboo hit the nail on the head.  How can the Nats sign him for a lengthy contract that will pay in the neighborhood of 200 mil and know that with his weight issues, he might just break down at any time???  If they do want him I think that at 30 mil for 4 years might be the best deal for him and the organization as well.  Besides, he will have his world series trophy before the contract ends..

    • FillyPhan 4 years ago

      Haha WS ring. How can you possibly say that with so many teams in the run in the next few years. I would have to say, Texas, Angels, Phillies, and Rays are going to be the teams to beat in the next 3 years. by that point in time Fielder will have gained 50 pounds and at least 1 chronic injury and will hamstring more than help the Nats.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      dude, i wouldn’t give him 30 mil a year…..ryan howard makes 20 and even though he is older he has earned it….don’t get too crazy with prince because what you are seeing is gm’s being very wary of his weight…4yrs 23mil a year.take it or leave it.thats 4yr at 92mil…..

  16. slider32 4 years ago

    Fielder is a perfect fit with the Nats, a young team loaded with talent, I would see them as real contenders if they can land this guy.

  17. Here’s the thing that’s scary.   If the Nats sign Fielder, they will be competitive for a while.  They’re very young, very good, and most of the key players are under club control (of course they need to re-sign Zimmerman).  With exception of center field, they have depth and flexibility.   Plus they’re stocked with hitting and pitching prospects.   Rizzo is putting the pieces together very nicely.  

  18. osodani 4 years ago

    I just don’t see how Fielder is a fit with the Nats. Werth can play center for 1 year, tops. After that, I just don’t think he’ll be able to play the position. Which means there are three corner OFs on the team: Morse (still under team control and relatively cheap), Harper (long-term), Werth (long-term). Harper is not seen as being able to play CF at the MLB level.

    So most people think that if Morse keeps up the production, he would move to 1B in ’13, and Werth and Harper man the corner OF spots, and they bring in an Upton or whomever.

    I don’t think that signing Fielder, even though he is more of a sure thing than Morse, is a move Rizzo needs to make. Not unless he’s planning to send Morse packing (since Werth and Harper aren’t going anywhere).

    • oscargamble 4 years ago

      While I don’t disgree with you and have had the exact same thoughts here, I think you go after the big fish if you can and figure out the rest later. Also, I just can’t see how Morse repeats what he did last year especially at his age – I see the league figuring him out this year.

      • hallwagner 4 years ago

        i would say that chance is about 50/50. he was a beast this year for sure, but he also had great numbers in 2010 in about half a seasons worth of at bats(266). (.289/.352/.519/.870) with 15 homers and 41 RBI

    • jdr70 4 years ago

      Morse is under control for two more years.  They can move him at the trade deadline or next offseason.  If he has a solid year then he’ll bring back something that will help the team.  

      My guess is they sign a CF a year from now and have an outfield of Werth, CF and Harper and an infield of Fielder, Lombardozzi, Espinosa & Zimmerman with Ramos behind the plate.  

      If Strasburg, Zimmermann & Gio are at full health and normal innings limits by 2013 that will be a very good lineup.  One that could compete with an aging Phillies team or a young Braves lineup.  

      • Guest 4 years ago

        screw fielder….marrero is a sleeper and people who haven’t seen him play are sleeping on this guy big time

    • slider32 4 years ago

      Fielder is a franchise player, you sign him put Werth in CF for this year or until you can make a good deal with someone for Morse. How about a trade with Tampa for Neiman or Davis.

  19. mauerfan 4 years ago

    Everone talks about Zimmerman, Morse and everyone else and deservingly so but I think Werth could be the X factor for this team. Last season Werth’s BABIP was .286, down from his .324 career BABIP. His BB% and K% were right at his career average, so in that sense he didn’t show any signs of decline. He still can catch up to the fastball, though he was slightly worse last season. His O-Swing% was right at his career avg as well but his O-Contact% was 10% higher than his career norm, that’s concering but if he can stop chasing balls outside the zone and raise his BABIP he should return to a 3.5-4 WAR player.

  20. mauerfan 4 years ago

    And if Fielder comes in they should try and move Morse while his value is at his highest, although that time may have already passed.

  21. I think he would be just like Dunn for the nationals 30 home runs 100 RBI then have larch has a back up or trade laroche

  22. IF they do sign Fielder, would the Nationals have the most Boras clients in all of baseball?

  23. If Prince goes to the Nationals, his career becomes infinitely insignificant.  

    • oscargamble 4 years ago

      wrong – that happens if he goes to the Mariners.

      • $3513744 4 years ago

        Wrong again.  We all know he’s going to the Pirates.

  24. FS54 4 years ago

    I still have trouble seeing Nats interest in Fielder. I think Prince does not fit Rizzo’s mold of players, athletic and good defensive players. It comes down to whether Fielder’s offensive upgrade outweighs his defensive downgrade for Nationals. I have not forgotten our days of terrible defense so I am willing to ignore Boras and his pricey FA. Let’s try to get a CF or RF.

    • At the end of the day, you need fans in the ballpark.

      Fielder would deliver them in droves as a true marquee name.

  25. The_Unnatural 4 years ago

    This guy will be an albatross before long. He’s already a terrible 1B and he’ll only get worse. His entire career he’s alternated between good and mediocre seasons. He’s due for another mediocre season. After that he’ll start his rapid decline. He’s a DH, I don’t know why an NL team would be interested in giving him a mammoth contract.

    • grownice 4 years ago

       Where are these mediocre seasons?!

      • The_Unnatural 4 years ago

        The ones where he posted 2.7, 2.1, and -.5 WAR. For a $20+ million player, that’s mediocre, or even bad.

        • grownice 4 years ago

           Not sure where your getting those war totals but on fangraphs the last 6 years hes been worth on average 3.8 war per season and hasnt had a bad season for over 3 years. Uzr brings down war and im not a big fan of Uzr because its extremely flawed in many areas.

          • The_Unnatural 4 years ago

            His WAR average is picked up from good seasons in ’07, ’09, and’11. I’m not a stat guy, but I heard UZR is more reliable for infielders. Either way, I don’t think it’s a smart signing for an NL team.

          • hallwagner 4 years ago

            uzr is a defensive metric you clown, and his offense clearly makes up for his defensive shortcomings

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            UZR for 1B is the worst.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        ’06, ’08, and ’10 if you are only looking at WAR.  If you look deeper it’s really more like alternating between good and great seasons.  The last season you can truly call mediocre for Fielder was ’06.

        • The_Unnatural 4 years ago

          A sub .880 OPS for over $20 million isn’t “good”. Not to mention bad fielding and baserunning.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            By “sub .880″ you really mean .879, because that’s what it was in ’08, and he was still a top 50 offensive player.

            Not living up to his contract =/= mediocre.

          • The_Unnatural 4 years ago

            Top 50 offensive player being paid like a top 5.
            And I initially had sub .900, but sub .880 sounded better. An .880 OPS for a $25 million “superstar” is mediocre. It’s not fair, but it’s what he wants.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

             Again, not living up to his contract is not the same as being mediocre.  And even though Fielder has had OPSs below .880 doesn’t mean he’s an .880 OPS player, his career OPS in .930 (OPS isn’t a good indicator of offensive value anyway).

          • Guest 4 years ago

            you are pretty good with the numbers….now my question is that prince doesn’t hit lefties very well does he?? im just asking if someone could give me those numbers id appreciate it

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Well, he doesn’t hit lefties as well as he hits righties, but he still hits lefties pretty well.  For his career he has a .410 wOBA against righties and a .347 wOBA against lefties (which is better than some players hit overall).

            He was below average against lefties in ’08 and ’10 though (91 and 89 wRC+s respectively w/ 100 being average).

          • Guest 4 years ago

            reason i ask is that he seemed out of sorts against the cards left handed relievers

          • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

            You’re not going to win an argument calling Prince mediocre. If you’re gonna count the one season his OPS dipped below .880 then you have to count the three he was over .980.

            The problem at hand isn’t whether he will perform or not. It’s just he wants a few extra years that are gonna hurt whoever signs him

          • The_Unnatural 4 years ago

            I never said Prince was mediocre. I said he had mediocre seasons. And his OPS has been below .880 3 times not counting his rookie season. I don’t care about UZR, I stated I’m not stat guy. Everyone says  he a crappy fielder. He’s a good player, but he’s not worth anywhere near what he’ll get.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            wth is your picture?

  26. NiceGamePrettyBoy 4 years ago

    Yep, that last giant Boras contract the Nationals handed out is working out splendidly. Let’s do another one!

  27. Ronlacroix 4 years ago

    The industry says……..Now there’s a reliable source of hard evidence!

  28. MarinersFan24 4 years ago

    No news yet again. I’d say the favorite to sign Fielder is the team that signs Fielder.

  29. tomymogo 4 years ago

    Nationals have all that money? To add 20 mill per year?

    • hallwagner 4 years ago

      actually yes, lerners are the richest owners in baseball

      • comebackkid814 4 years ago

        Nats have a mid-level payroll at best. So, my answer would definitely be yes. As a Nats fan if team could sign Prince for 3-5 yes I’d be crazy happy.

      • Rich owners get that way by not spending their money.

        Just worth pointing out.

    • Natsfan89 4 years ago

      Lerners are worth 4 billion and Washington is the 7th largest media market, so even with the horrible tv deal they have they aren’t hurting for money. It also helps that folks in DC love to go watch winners, so if the Nats start competing a lot more people will start showing up to the stadium.

  30. FillyPhan 4 years ago

    Can’t compare LaRoche to Fielder, its like comparing apples to grossly disfigured watermelons.

  31. Milmurph 4 years ago

    If the Nats sgin Fieder does that mean they woud trade LaRoche to Cubs for Byrd?

    • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

      It would be tough but I can see them trying. They would have to eat a whole lot of that 8 million and make it LaRoche + someone

  32. thebigbangdito 4 years ago

    i would never believe anything boras has to say.. and if I were a gm i would not let him use my team as leverage vs another team

    • hallwagner 4 years ago

      what are the nats gonna do? send michael morse and ryan zimmerman over to boras’s house to threaten him with baseball bats? he’s a sleazy baseball agent, thats what they do is lie and cheat

    • harmony55 4 years ago

      Should an agent let a team use negotiations with a less desired free agent as leverage in the team’s negotiations for that agent’s more desired free agent?

      Welcome to the world of negotiations.

  33. DemClowns 4 years ago

    Whatever. As long as Fielder is kept away from Seattle, I’m happy.

  34. bippybellito 4 years ago

    While Fielder in Washington is scary from a Phillie fan perspective, it’ll certainly be a treat watching the NL East.  The Mets have self destructed, but the rest of the division is seriously competitive and don’t care for one another.  If Rollins comes back with resolve and not the sulking oft injured shortstop he was last year, the Phils are the class of the division (I hope).  Can’t wait for pitchers and catchers!    I’m sick already of the NFL.  I hope MLB never allows dancing at home plate after a home run!  It has helped to ruin the NFL.

  35. Tired_OF_FakeRumors 4 years ago

    Prince Fielder contract will paid itself plus the Nationals have one of the richest if not the richest owner in baseball. So i think they fit.

  36. CommissionerBart 4 years ago

    Kilgore says Boras describes Fielder as  “a combination of Henry Kissinger and Frank Howard.”  What does this say?  Well, obviously these comments are directed to Washington, the city which knew both Kissinger and Howard best.  Methinks Boras is trying to get the Nats to bid against themselves. Rizzo may not be smart enough to avoid this but I’ll bet Ted Lerner is.

    The Boras comment also illustrates how full of b.s. Boras is. I’ll bet Fielder has no idea who Kissinger is, much less share any of the aspects which distinguished Kissinger as the hero/villain he was. I somewhat doubt Fielder even knows who Howard was. (…who incidentally I’ve had the pleasure of talking with a number of times and found him to be an extremely nice, humble man.)

    Pay Prince very generously–$26 or $27 mil a year–on a 3 or 4 deal with the opportunity to extend it without committing the Nats if the anticipated sharp slide in his performance has taken root at the end of that period.  In the meantime, Fielder may contribute, along with the young pitching staff and an increasingly good lineup, to a couple of serious runs at a championship.  Not sure if that holds as much meaning for him as many players but certainly adds luster to his personal  resume.

  37. I am kind of disappointed that the Mariners couldn’t have signed him (Fielder) and Kevin Millwood, if this National rumor is true.

    The Mariners could given them new Nicknames:

    The Big Orca and Shamu the Magnificent

    There would have been a “Steel Cage” or “Lumber Jack” Match to have decided who got what name. How disappointing!

    I guess Prince will have to settle for the “Big” Monument. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it! Oh well!

  38. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Lol nationals are going to pull a werth

  39. Karkat 4 years ago

    The “PF Flyer”? I take it that’s a jumbo jet?

  40. LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

    Hope Nationals don’t overpay to get him.. Fielder would make the Nationals a contender in the division

  41. “Owner Ted Lerner is already the wealthiest in MLB”, Im pretty sure that the Blue Jays have the wealthies owners in the MLB, they are owned by media giant Rogers Communications.

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      I’ve long contended that it’s not how wealthy the owners of a team are, it’s how large the team’s revenues are.  A very rich owner of a team in a small market with weak revenues would only be flushing his wealth down the toilet if he used that wealth to build up a team payroll that the team’s revenues could not support.

      • elbeisbol 4 years ago

        Still, a smart man might invest out of his own pocket to grow a new market and reap more profits for years. DC is not a small-market; just a bandwagon market. 

  42. jwsox 4 years ago

    Fielder makes this team a playoff contender for sure. Adding him will hopefully allow werth to bounce back ( he seems to only be able to hit when he is no the focal point) he bounces back that’s awesome. Assuming Harper does not start till mid season. A 2-3-4-5 of Espinosa-werth-fielder-zimm Is awesome. Throw moorse in at 3 moving werth down or hit moorse right after prince. Thats scary.

    • hallwagner 4 years ago

      people keep bringing up the opinion that werth was a focal point or was expected to be the best hitter on the team or that the lineup would be built around him. no, this was never the fact. zimmerman was, werth was just supposed to provide him protection. he failed at that and when morse started hitting well he was moved to 6th/2nd in the batting order and still didn’t produce. also there is no way in hell the 2345 would be what you said. most likely it would be werth, zimmerman, fielder, morse

  43. Good luck with Fielder.  You get a good hitter, not a clutch hitter except for this last season (contract year?) and a pretty shoddy first baseman.  He can’t scoop very well with his T-Rex arms and he has very little range.  If you take away 1 RBI for all the runners who scored on an error of his or a ball he should have gotten to, how many RBI’s will he really have?  A full no trade clause? You have got to be kidding me.  You will way overpay for him.  Like I said – Good Luck

  44. jwsox 4 years ago

    Also they could trade moorse if they don’t feel he can play left full time and replenish some of what they lost in the Gio trade.

  45. tomymogo 4 years ago

    Okay question, if they sign Prince to an 8 year deal or whatever it is, when Bryce Harper is ready Werth will be their CF for how long? I mean Morse is in LF, Bryce would be in RF, or what is the plan? Trade Michael Morse for a premier CF or pitching and sign BJ Upton for CF next year? You certainly can’t trade Werth because nobody will take unless Nats eat some serious money. 

    • hallwagner 4 years ago

      werth has a NTC so he can’t be dealt. harper might eventually be in CF

    • Jamespfunk 4 years ago

      When Harper is ready he’ll be in right, Werth will be in left, Morse will need to be traded.  I don’t think they want Weth in CF but they would do it for a year if they needed to.  Next years CF free agent class right now includes Upton, Bourne, and Victorino.  Plus other names will pop up with teams willing to trade.

  46. Aj 4 years ago

    Wait a second!! Where’s the ” Mystery Team”?!?!?

  47. I seriously hope the Nationals don’t overpay for Fielder, I really think they are the only logical suitor for him, and will end up bidding against themselves. I say they offer him 6 years 125 million, if Fielder doesn’t take it, that’s his choice. The Nationals can spend all of this “new revenue” on other players in the future.

  48. squadwagon6 3 years ago

    I ask all Nationals fans, like myself  what if the Nationals give him an opt out clause let him walk in 3 years. and in the mean time start forming Rendon into a first baseman. how hard is the change from third to first ?

    • squadwagon6 3 years ago

      also who gets to wear number 28. it was morse who wore it before werth. I see prince wears 28 as well

  49. 2andrespascual40 3 years ago

    The new Homestead Grays racial mix: Washington Nationals will be a great club as soon as this year

  50. CommissionerBart 4 years ago

    LaRoche and something else for Upton (who keeps being connected to the Nats) ???  But Upton’s gotta sign an extension.

  51. derek russell 4 years ago

    but then outfield to crowded werth,morse,upton and harper one would have to go with fielder at 1st. Trade for upton and if he succeeds extend him after the year. If Morse falls off and is a 1 year fluke than he’s gone and you keep upton.

  52. The Rays could have gotten LaRoche for Free for the 2011 season… well free meaning free agency nothing free about it. Still why would the Rays trade for LaRoche and especially include Upton in the deal. That would be horrifying! If I am the Rays, I would trade for Trumbo or Morales. Trading for LaRoche would indicate the Front Office is “Silly” and they are not silly!

  53. oscargamble 4 years ago

    And the Gnats would have to eat that LaRoche contract – no way TB takes that on.

  54. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    Agreed. An argument can be made it is better for the Nats they have already had it done while the team wasn’t counting on them to be contenders.

  55. FillyPhan 4 years ago

    Right because no one has ever had to get the surgery twice or more. Flawed arguement if anything they go under the knife more afterwards.

  56. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    no, actually they don’t.  You can count the number of current mlb pitchers to have multiple TJ surgeries on one hand. 

  57. Guest 4 years ago

    i would not go past 4….after that i think you are asking for trouble…if they have to go 5 to make it happen you get 3 definate good years and may have to eat a couple sub par….im just saying don’t do a soriano type deal…the cubs are going to still smart from that one a few years down the line….so i guess this is where i get murdered so let it begin

  58. FillyPhan 4 years ago

    That’s because they don’t get a second chance. 2nd one normally ends it.

  59. Chris Capuano.  Sorry about your 1-fingered hand.

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