The Nationals don't intend to go after Prince Fielder once he reaches free agency, a team source told MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The primary reason is that first basemen Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche are already under team control for 2012. Instead, the Nats may be more focused on finding a center fielder and a leadoff hitter.
Earlier this month Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com expressed similar feelings about the Nationals sitting out the Fielder bidding. He provided additional reasons: GM Mike Rizzo loves defense at first base, and the team might need to earmark money for a future Ryan Zimmerman extension.
Now, as I mentioned on Monday, having LaRoche under contract for a year at $8MM wouldn't be a huge roadblock if the Nationals wanted Fielder, and Morse could play left field. Scott Boras has been cozy with Rizzo in recent years, and the agent will probably try his damnedest to get them involved on Fielder. However, if the two beat writers are correct and the Nationals don't get involved, that's one less team capable of doing a $150MM+ contract in a market that probably already excludes the Red Sox, Yankees, and many others.