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Prince Fielder Rumors: '99 Percent Chance' Washington Nationals Won't Sign Slugger, According To Report

The chances of the Washington Nationals not signing free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder are "99 percent," Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports, quoting "a baseball source." Washington, which has previously met with Fielder and agent Scott Boras, is unwilling to offer as much money as Fielder is asking.

"The source indicated that Fielder's price must come down in order for the team to think about acquiring his services," Ladson writes.

Fielder's size is another concern of the team's. "There are members of the team's front office who believe Fielder will essentially be a designated hitter within a few years," Ladson says, noting that Fielder is listed at 275 pounds.

The latest report from Ladson continues a trend in Fielder rumor reporting: national outlets peg the Nationals as the favorites to sign Fielder, which local reports then downplay. Earlier Wednesday, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported Washington was leading the Fielder sweepstakes because another interested team, the Texas Rangers, will likely not have enough money to sign both Fielder and Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, with whom they own exclusive negotiating rights.

For more on the Nationals, please visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals blog.