We’ve received another example of just how murky the market for free agent first baseman Prince Fielder really is this winter. Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that many around the game of baseball believe the Washington Nationals could present Fielder with his most attractive offer this winter. Let’s break down the latest Prince Fielder rumor.
Yesterday I took a look at Fielder’s possible landing spots and the chances each team has to sign the Prince this winter. The Nationals made the list, as they have been tied to Fielder this offseason and likely have the money it would take to bring in the hefty slugger.
Additionally, the Nationals recently acquired starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez who becomes the top-of-the-rotation left-hander Washington had been seeking this offseason. Now armed with one of the best young rotations in the game, Washington could conceivably look to continue their remodeling this winter by adding Fielder to the middle of their lineup.
However, following the Gonzalez trade, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters that Adam LaRoche would be his starting first baseman in 2012. Obviously anything could change, and LaRoche shouldn’t preclude the Nationals from acquiring a player such as Fielder, but this is straight out of the mouth of Washington’s GM.
Still, with Fielder remaining on the market and his prospects unknown, it’s conceivable that a team like the Nationals could find the price for Prince too good to pass up. Many now expect Fielder to command a five-to-seven-year deal this winter instead of the 10 year pact he originally hoped for. Wow the annual salary still figures to be sky-high, the total money and years committed to Fielder will be less than most originally expected.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.