Blog Entry

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:54 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike Rizzo wants you to know that the Nationals aren't interested in Prince Fielder. Really. But…

"As far as are we going to dab our toe in [the Prince Fielder] water, those are decisions we make early on in that process and we've more or less decided that Adam [LaRoche] is going to be our first baseman," Rizzo said Wednesday on MLBNetwork Radio (via the Washington Times). "Unless something extraordinary and out of the ordinary happened, that's how we're going into spring training."


Last week Rizzo said the team was planning on LaRoche being the team's first baseman in 2012, but didn't exactly elaborate.

The Nationals have been a popular rumored landing spot for the biggest free agent left on the market, as the team has a lot of money to spend, a good history Scott Boras, Fielder's agent, and it has LaRoche at first base.

LaRoche, 32, was limited to 43 games in 2011 before undergoing labrum surgery in June. In the first year of a two-year, $16 million deal with the Nationals, LaRoche hit .172/.288/.258 with three homers and 15 RBI in 177 plate appearances. LaRoche is a career .267/.337/.478 hitter. He hit 32 homers with the Braves in 2006 and hit 25 homers for three straight years from 2008 to 2010 for the Pirates, Red Sox, Braves and Diamondbacks. LaRoche will make $8 million this season and there's a $10 mutual option for 2013, with a $1 million buyout.

"Adam LaRoche is under contract for us, we're paying him a lot of money to play first base for us next year," Rizzo said. "We feel that he's going to have a bounceback season. We just want him to have his career norms: .265, 25, 85-100 RBI and play great defense. We feel that his shoulder is rehabbed, he's 100 percent, and talking to him just recently, he feels great and he's ready to contribute to us in 2012."

As for Fielder, the question, of course, becomes what does "extraordinary" mean to Rizzo? Could it be Fielder open to a shorter contract with a higher average annual value? Or could it be a longer deal backloaded? Or just Fielder saying he's decided he wants to be a National. The longer Fielder stays on the market, the more possibilities can pop up and something out of the ordinary could happen.

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Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2012 9:58 am

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

Really dude, anywhere prince or AP went or goes he would be popular with there fan base, 2 of the best players inthe league what city and fans wouldnt want them there....

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2011 12:27 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

Fielder would be wildly popular for the fan base in DC just like Pujols owuld ahve been in Miami.

Since: Nov 5, 2010
Posted on: December 31, 2011 12:10 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

The Brewers cannot afford Fielder with their current payroll. They are the smallest market in baseball and have very limited payroll. Their TV contract is far, far less than the big spending teams, and that's where most teams get their capital for payroll.  To put it in perspective the Brewer's TV contract is about $150M per YEAR less than the Angels who signed Pujols. Currently they are about $10M over last year's payroll and they have three of their starting pitchers that will be free agents next year. Fielder would put them around $120M. next year. Way to much for their market. That's the unfortunate part of MLB; the rich can afford to buy FAs year after year to stay competitive and the small market teams have to hope their farm system keeps producing to have any chance.

Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 10:18 am

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

They should go after him with bryce harper and stephen strasburgh he would make it a great young team

Since: Jun 5, 2010
Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:15 am

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

Prince would fit in any lineup, and would make it better. If the nationals sing him it would give them the best lineup in the NL. You put him in between zimmerman and morse, that would be a nightmare for NL pitchers and managers. Knowing u have to get through that 3 or 4 times a game. As a cubs fan i just happy he will be out of or division.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 5:35 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

I get to watch him play everyday, he may be a big guy but he is fit.  Everyone thinks he's some fatboy.  That dude does have a little gut but he is built like a brick.  He has shown no signs of wear and tear and only gets better with age.  You cant't say Mo Vaughn.  If he gets to stay at 1st base he should be fine.  If he gets any bigger it could be an issue but if he stays where he is at or dropps a few lbs he'll be fine.  He'll play into his 40's...a DH somewhere most likely, if the DH is still around.  But I see a good solid 6-7 yrs from him and 10+ if he goes as a DH somewhere right away.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 5:26 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

There isn't a lot of talk yet, but the Brewers have made no moves in FA for a 1st base guy. The Brewers can afford him if the price isn't inflated.  They have recor attendence every year and have a lot of revenue.  They are just sittting back watchng everyone else.  They may not be able to compete with NY or Boston but remember they did offer CC 25 million a year and NYY bested them by making it longer.  These teams we are talking about don't have deep pockets.  While the Rangers do have money to spend he'd have to play there.  He doesn't like the heat.  If he goes to the Cubs it will be just for $$. Svuem is there but it will be $$.  Don't count the Brewers out of it yet.  they did the same thing with CC.  Sat back, then offerred him big money at the last second.  Fielder is a fan favorite.  The Crew has already sold over 1 million tickets for next year.  that is a huge sign toi the brass.  even with Fielder the Cubs will suck because he will have no protection.  In Texas he'd be dangerous.  I am from Milwaukee but live in Dallas.  I'd prefer him to go to Milwaukee but if he goes to the Rangers I could deal with that.  plus, Wrigley field sucks....too windy, he hits balls really high. He'd get robbed of a lot of HR's there...Again, if he goes to Chi it will be for $$ and a long contract.  No one is getting him for less than 6 years.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 4:04 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

I don't believe any team when they say there are not chasing a player, Till Fielder is sign there no tell where he will land. I rather have the Cubs sign Fielder, but I have doubt that they will sign a player more then a 3 year contract at this time.  So the Rangers would be my second choice

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:42 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

Prince is going to look great manning first base in Arlington and hitting clean up.


Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:18 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

Whict ever team that takes on Fielder as their big signing had better beware. Two words should say it all, Mo Vaughn. Just ask the Angels. Both players were large, first basemen, and coming off a few seasons that were very very good. I remember that one day Vaughn had just lost it. I would have similar worries of the Prince. He is a below average hitter and depends on his bat speed a whole lot. When that speed is lost, you will have a below average hitter, a below average defensive first baseman, with an agent that will get him a huge, long term contract. I am just saying, buyer beware!! This is normally the player that the Yankees would go after, along with the Red Sox, Angels, and a few more. The Yankees have Big Tex, a disappointing signing for the money,he Red Sox have Gonzo. a good sign for the first year at least, and the Angels have the big catch, perhaps the greatest 1st baseman of all time in Pujols. That leaves the Texans, Nationals, and perhaps the Marlins to pursue the Prince, unless their is an unknown team in the hunt. Good Luck to the Winner, I am guessing
that they will need it.

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