Based on the deal for Jayson Werth and what Adrian Gonzalez is expected to earn via an extension, the Milwaukee Brewers are well aware they will not be able to re-sign Prince Fielder to a long-term contract.
Tons of teams have looked into the big first baseman, including the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. With the Cubs not in yet, it appears they will go with a shorter-term fix like Carlos Pena. However, look for the Cubs to be players if Fielder reaches free agency.
With Scott Boras as his agent, Prince is likely to become a free agent, but there is one team which might be able to keep Fielder off the market.
Why not the Washington Nationals for Fielder? Boras is Fielder’s agent, and he just moved his outfielder Jayson Werth to Washington. The Nats are a natural fit for Fielder as they need a first baseman for 2011, but might be able to wait another season to sign the free agent to be.
However, if the Brewers are not in contention for the playoffs come July, could the Nats trade for Fielder, then sign him to a long-term extension thus keeping other potential suitors away.
The Nats have some pitching they can give up, with quite a few guys at the major league level and Triple A.
At the Winter Meetings, I asked Boras if he will push for a Fielder trade to the Nats. His reply? “I would love to be able to dictate things, but I can not force deals to happen.”
And he gave me a questioning look.
Boras appears to have a great relationship with Nats GM Mike Rizzo and the Lerners, having already worked on deals for the last two top draft picks, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper plus the recent Werth contract.
If Fielder is not traded to the Nationals this off season, look for him to be in a Nationals uniform by 2012, if not sooner.