Although there have been conflicting reports on whether or not the Nationals are still pursuing the best free agent left on the market, Prince Fielder, a trusted source who is close to the team said that the team is still, “patiently and aggressively” pursuing Fielder. More evidence to back that up would be the information that came out today that Nationals principal owners Ted and Mark Lerner met with Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, at a meeting in Arizona. Details regarding the meeting were not released and it was not the first time that both sides have met this off-season.
A good sign for Nationals fans could be that the last time these parties met in a meeting to discuss contracts it was when the Nationals signed then coveted free agent Jayson Werth. One of the reasons regarding the delay in Fielder signing with a team is many owners have expressed concerns about how a man with Fielders frame (5-11, 275 lbs.) will age.
But the biggest reason regarding the delay is the Texas Rangers and their signing of Yu Darvish. The deadline for the Rangers to sign Darvish is this coming Wednesday (January 18th) and everyone is expecting that Darvish will sign whatever offer the Rangers give him. Once Darvish does sign with the Rangers, if he does, then Fielder to the Nationals would probably gain an extreme amount of heat within a day and a deal could be done within two to three days.
But if Darvish opts to return to Japan, and decline the Rangers offer, then the Rangers are expected to go after Fielder hard and the possibility of Fielder going to the Nationals becomes very slim. So if you are a Washington Nationals fan then you better be praying that Darvish signs with the Rangers because if he does, Fielder to the Nationals is almost a lock to happen.
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