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Prince Fielder Rumors: Washington Nationals Remain Favorite, But Misgivings Remain, According To Report

For those of you still waiting for the last remaining big name free agent to sign a contract, the time might be drawing near. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox sports, Fielder should be making his free agent decision soon and the Nationals may be a front-runner.

The Prince Fielder sweepstakes finally are nearing conclusion, according to major league sources. The Nationals remain a leading contender for the free-agent first baseman, if not the outright favorite.

Rosenthal explains however that the plan to sign Prince Fielder to a long term expensive contract is not unanimous among the Nationals organization. Some would prefer to go a more cost effective route, saving the big spending for when they need to extend young players like Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper down the line. But Fielder would put butts in the seats at Nationals Park, making those extensions theoretically more viable. Either way it is a tough decision for the team to make.

According to Bill Ladson of, the sticking point between the Nationals and the Fielder camp is the length of the contract.

According to a baseball source, the stumbling block continues to be the length of the contract. Fielder is looking for a contract similar to the 10-year deal first baseman Albert Pujols received from the Angels, but the Nats don't want to go more than five or six years. They are willing to give Fielder a no-trade clause, but it's not known if they would let Fielder opt out of a contract after three years.

It doesn't seem like any team is willing to give Fielder that 10-year deal, otherwise he would probably be signed already. But if I had to guess I would say that whichever team signs him, Nationals or otherwise, will meet somewhere in the middle.

For more on the Nationals, head on over to Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals blog.