The in Major League Baseball, and Washington Nationals fans, as well as every baseball fan (that isn’t a fan of the watch is onNew York Mets) are bracing themselves to see where the jack-hammering free agent first baseman lands.
In Arlington? Seattle? Miami? Your town? Who knows, but the whole thing resembles a Godzilla movie where everyone is watching Tokyo Bay and waiting for the big beast to pop out and start wrecking his own unique brand of carnage. When will he surface? We don’t know, but we know he is out there, in the bay, pissed off and ready to prove himself the King of Monsters.
I’m not saying Fielder is the "King of Ballplayers," but I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t find great joy in seeing that super Californian reptile go dry out of the Anacostia. To see him bring his lumber to Nationals Park makes me shiver. The horror of seeing him go nuclear on the pitching of invading NL East rivals makes me want to grab my popcorn.
It is the Kaiju film of my dreams, and oddly enough, fate has made it a possibility. It can go from fiction to frightfully exciting corporeality, because the Nationals are in the position to make it happen.
And yes, they absolutely should.
The arguments for and against it have been made. For every Yin, there is a Yang. Fielder is an All-Star first baseman with a huge bat, but like former National Adam Dunn, his defense is suspect at times. The 27-year old is big and slow for his size and will possibly become more sloth-like as he ages, but that big boy has been as healthy as can be missing only one game in the past three seasons combined. Fielder is going to cost some money, but the Nationals have the richest owners in baseball as well as a lucrative TV deal coming up. If the Nationals sign Fielder, they’ll lose their first pick in the upcoming draft, but they splurged in 2011 so much for that very purpose
There are plenty more talking points, but what ultimately sells Fielder to me is not necessarily Fielder himself. Instead, it's the big picture, the Bob Ross masterpiece that general manager Mike Rizzo, intentionally or not, seems to be painting in Washington. The Nationals have some nice puffy clouds of young talent and some towering, purple mountain majesties of veterans. Now, paint Fielder into that picture. It would probably end up looking something like this at some point in 2012:
- Ian Desmond - SS
- Jayson Werth - RF
- Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
- Prince Fielder - 1B
- Michael Morse - LF
- Bryce Harper - CF
- Danny Espinosa - 2B
- Wilson Ramos - C
- Stephen Strasburg - SP
Are you getting the picture? That is an insane lineup and potentially the best to ever be fielded on a Washington D.C. baseball diamond. It would at least make the savages up there in Philadelphia think twice before putting up the money to trek Nationals Park to see their team lose, scare Atlanta into another choke and make any moves done by the Miami Marlins and Mets not pertinent.
They would be in serious contention for, at the very least, a wild card spot. You can’t tell me that his presence would not have an affect on guys like Zimmerman and Werth. I haven’t even mentioned the amount of revenue the Nationals would have pouring in if they signed a player of this caliber.
With one move, the Nationals can change the face of a whole division. With one move. That opportunity doesn’t come along often in Major League Baseball, and matched with the fact the Nationals would be fulfilling a need for the next couple of years, now is the time for the Nationals to jump.
The Nationals' argument has been the past few years that they were building a team through the draft and their farm system with an occasional veteran piece thrown in to supplement them. All avenues would be taken into account as long as they make the team better and they would strike in free agency when the appropriate players became available.
That player is now available.
The Washington farm system, after years of abuse and MLB pillaging, is finally sustainable. The franchise has key pieces in its foundation to build upon and for the first time since baseball returned to the area, there is actual bona fide hope and excitement. It would be absolutely foolish for the Nationals to pass on going all out for an impact player like Fielder that would seriously change everything. The time is now for the Nats to strike.
The time is now for the Washington Nationals to rise.
The time is now for the Washington Nationals to start laying claim as Kings of the NL East.