Though reports in recent days have indicated the Washington Nationals are the clear frontrunners to sign free-agent slugger Prince Fielder, team general manager Mike Rizzo said Thursday "I don’t know where that comes from because we haven’t gone beyond where we were at since the winter meetings," according to Amanda Comak of The Washington Times. And as Comak notes, "the Nationals were barely involved in the Fielder conversation" during winter meetings.
Rizzo also reiterated his commitment to incumbent first baseman Adam LaRoche. "We feel he’s 100 percent healthy," Rizzo said, "and when he’s 100 percent we’re going to get the 25 home runs, 85-100 RBI and great defense at first base." Rizzo also noted the presence of backup Mike Morse, who hit .303 with 31 homers in 2011 fillng in for LaRoche, who appeared in just 43 games due to a shoulder injury.
In seven major-league seasons, Fielder, 27, owns a .282 batting average with 230 homers and 656 runs batted in. His agent is Scott Boras, who also represents several Nats players, which may be another factor that explains why Washington is favored to land Fielder.
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