Tom Hadricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with an update on the Prince Fielder free-agent drama:
An MLB official told me over the weekend that word is spreading in the industry that the Washington Nationals have emerged as a favorite to sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
Now, "a favorite" is much different than "the favorite" -- there's a lot of meaning in those pesky articles. But just a little later in his post, Hadricourt covers his bases:
I had pegged the Mariners, Rangers and Cubs as the leading candidates to sign Fielder at the start of the off-season but now am told the Nationals are the favorite to sign him.
With Fielder, the Nationals would have one of the best lineups in the National League. They would also likely have Mike Morse in left with Jayson Werth moving to center field whenever Bryce Harper is ready. That's ... less desirable.
But the Nationals have been in on seemingly every free agent to some degree, and after missing out on C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, they still have some money to spend. And Fielder would make an even bigger splash than Werth did last year. Part of that is because of physics/displacement, but it's also because Fielder is one of the best hitters in baseball.
The Cubs are still said to be in, as are the Mariners, Rangers, and even Orioles. And don't count out those wacky Marlins just yet. As of right now, though, the Nationals are reportedly in the lead for Prince Fielder's services.