Bill Ladson of MLB.com says that the Nationals don’t intend to pursue to Prince Fielder in free agency this winter. Normally this kind of thing wouldn’t be terribly significant, especially in August, but it probably matters here.
As we’ve seen these past few years, the Nationals have become Scott Boras’ huckleberry. If he’s got a guy who needs signed or drafted, Mike Rizzo will pick up the phone. Fielder is a Boras guy. Boras’ biggest guy this winter. Given the recent track record, it would not be at all surprising for people to speculate the Nats are in the bidding.
Indeed, it’s not at all hard to believe that Boras and whatever media surrogates he can muster will do their best to spread the word of the Nationals’ totally serious interest in making a big splash. They’ll point to the improved Nats’ team. The prospect of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper on the horizon. The fact that, as the Jayson Werth deal showed, they’re not afraid to spend money. They’ll use that to try to convince some other team who may be interested in Fielder that they had best bid high or not bother.
And with this report — assuming it’s true — it seems like the Nats are unwilling to be party to those kinds of games.