Prince Fielder To The Washington Nationals?

June 20, 2011 – 1:41 pm by Ryan Phillips

One of the most underrated elements of free agency in baseball is the involvement of a player’s agent. Obviously agents negotiate the deals, but they also use their influence to steer players towards certain teams. If an agent has a solid prior relationship with a team, the likelihood that he proposes that team to another client is extremely high. We could see that situation unfold this fall as Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder hits free agency.

Enter super-agent Scott Boras, who represents Fielder. Over the past two years the Washington Nationals have shown a willingness to deal with Boras on a level that not many other teams have. The Nationals have made three-straight Boras clients their top picks in the MLB Draft (Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon) and signed Boras client Jayson Werth to a ridiculous contract this past winter.

Throw in the fact that the Nats could use a long-term solution at first base and Fielder looks like a fit. The teams that typically spend the most in free agency appear largely set at first base. The Yankees (Mark Teixeira), Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez), and Phillies (Ryan Howard) don’t have a need there, while the Dodgers likely won’t be spending any money soon and have James Loney. The Angels are a possibility, but they recently announced they won’t be spending outrageous amounts of money anymore.

The 27-year-old Fielder is having a monster year in 2011, with a .301 average, 20 home runs, 61 RBI and a fat 1.031 OPS. He is a player who can put butts in seats and the Nationals need that.

With Strasburg on his way back from Tommy John surgery, Harper on the fast track to the big leagues and Major League roster that is starting to show signs of life (35-37 this year) the Nats could be a perfect candidate to add Fielder.

Don’t be surprised if Boras steers the big guy to the nation’s capital this winter.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Prince Fielder To The Washington Nationals?”

  2. I don’t see this happening. To sign Prince Fielder would demand a contract at least as large as Jayson Werth’s. On top of that, Ryan Zimmerman is nearing the end of his contract, will also command a well-deserved large sum of money (although perhaps not as large given his apparent loyalty to the city), and it is that contract that will be the focal point of the Nats’ front office. This past week and a half has shown that the Nats with Zimmerman are a much better team than without him. On top of that, giving Prince a large deal could turn back to bite the Nationals because of those other aforementioned Boras players. If Strasburg lives up to his billing coming back from surgery, he’ll be sure to command top dollar, as will Bryce Harper when he reaches the big leagues. Not only is this move expensive but it’s not necessary. If the team makes a big roster move in the offseason, it would probably be to secure a proven CF/leadoff hitter.

    By Skeptical on Jun 20, 2011

  3. Fielder’s going to get a lot more than Werth, but that won’t stop the Nats from bidding. I’m not sure I understand how a team in need of a long-term first baseman adding a top tier first baseman is “not necessary.” Fielder isn’t a superfluous piece the Nats would be adding in a vanity move. They could actually use him – and if they have the cash, why wouldn’t they make a play? Zimmerman is signed through 2013, and Harper will be relatively cheap for his first six(!) years of control.

    By Ace on Jun 21, 2011

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