The Washington Nationals remain the favorites to sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Though the Texas Rangers are also rumored to be in the mix for the three-time All-Star, Morosi cites a source who indicates the Rangers' finances are such that they will not be able to make a competitive offer to Fielder and sign Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.
Texas paid the Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish's Japanese club, more than $50 million for the rights to exclusively negotiate a contract with him. That figure does not include what they'll eventually pay Darvish, who is expected to command a handsome salary. The Rangers likely cannot afford to dole out two nine-figure contracts in the same offseason, and Darvish is the higher priority.
Thus, Washington remains the leader to sign Fielder, who hit .299 with 38 homers and 120 runs batted in with the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2011 season. He ranks No. 41 among active players in home runs, with 230 overall.
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