Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Nats Need to Pass on Fielder

By. Judge Patrick

I don't understand why the Nats would want to invest big money and 10 years into Prince Fielder. Is 1st base a need for Nats? No. Michael Morse put up comparable numbers(.303/31 HR) to Fielder's (.299/38 HR), and would cost what, a fifth of the price?

More importantly, what does it mean to the current/future Nats if you give Prince Fielder big money and a long term deal? It means that Ryan Zimmerman is going to want $20 mil a year when his contract is up at the end of the 2013 campaign, and he'll be able to command it.

Are the Lerners ready to pay it? Assuming they are, that's about $60 million tied up until 2017 or so in 3 players. (Werth, Zim, Fielder) Around that same time, your young future stars will be full blown stars (if everything goes as planned) and they are going to want their pay days. Strasburg, Harper, Ramos, Espinosa, Rendon, Desmond, JZimmerman, I could go on.

Of those players, which ones will be part of the Nats future, if Fielder is thrown into the mix? Not all of the ones I just mentioned.

Other problems with this deal: I have a hard time believing I'm the only one that doesn't want to be married(long term) to an overweight slugger, at a position that is not a need, in a league where you can't DH.

Also, I don't think it's a good idea to get in bed with Scott Boras the way the Nats have. When the core of your team employs the Bert Sugar of baseball agents, problems are bound to happen.

If 1st base was a glaring need for the Nats, I would understand the move for Fielder. But it's not a need. Personally, I think Michael Morse demonstrated last year that he's capable of being an everyday 1st baseman. And the Nats shouldn't just spend money for the sake of spending money. Signing Fielder to a long term, big money deal, is a desperation type move at a time when they are far from desperate.

Save your money, be patient, and let the team you've built develop. And after considering my points here, and you still want to sign Fielder, do a google search on Mo Vaughn.

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