After conflicting report after conflicting report, another story has emerged today from Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal indicating that Prince Fielder may still wind up with the Washington Nationals. In fact, Haudricourt is reporting that the Nats are now the favorite team to sign the coveted first baseman.
Less than one week ago, GM Mike Rizzo said about 1B Adam LaRoche, "unless something extraordinary...happened, that's how we're going to go to Spring Training." It seems like that might be changing. According to Haudricourt's story, Agent Scott Boras is interested in signing Fielder to an 8- to 10-year deal, but he would take fewer years for a higher average yearly salary than Albert Pujols, who signed a 10-year, $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels last month. Last season, Prince Fielder went .299/.415/.566 with 38 HR and 120 RBI for the Milwaukee Brewers. Combine that with Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse at the core of the line up, and there's a movement starting in DC.
Many believe that if the Nationals were to sign Fielder, the team would be an immediate contender in the NL East. If the team did sign Fielder, the team's Opening Day line up could look something like this. Tell me it doesn't excite you.
- Ian Desmond, SS
- Danny Espinosa, 2B
- Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Michael Morse, LF
- Jayson Werth, CF
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Wilson Ramos, C
- Stephen Strasburg, P
Even if Harper doesn't make the squad until later in the season, Ramos could easily bump up to the 7-spot, slotting Mike Cameron or Mark DeRosa to platoon the 8-hole. With this line up, and a pitching rotation of Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Chien-Ming Wang, and Ross Detwiler, the Nationals could be in prime contention to win around 90 games and compete for the NL East.
Washington Nationals fans, it's time to get ready for some excitinement. Stay tuned to your Twitter accounts and right here on The Nats Blog for the latest on Prince Fielder developments.