The Texas Rangers consider themselves unlikely to sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today, which "would seem to make the Washington Nationals front-runners for Fielder's services." Citing a source, Nightengale says talks between Fielder and the Nationals are "accelerating and could conclude today."
The 27-year-old Fielder, according to Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, is hoping to sign a contract spanning eight to 10 years.
Nightengale believes Washington would slot the left-hand-hitting Fielder between right-handers Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman in the batting order, should it land Fielder.
Fielder, a three-time All-Star, hit .299 with 38 homers and 120 runs batted in for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2011 season. In addition, the left-handed slugger led the National League by drawing 32 intentional walks in his 692 plate appearances. He has missed only 13 games in his last six seasons.
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