Adam LaRoche said the #Nats didn't promise him that he would be the starting 1B in 2012.
Asked point-blank if Adam LaRoche was set to be the Nationals' first baseman for 2012, Rizzo said: "That's correct." Throwing, for the time being, some cold water on the Prince Fielder rumors that seem to insist on attaching themselves to Washington.
"As far as are we going to dab our toe in (the Prince Fielder) water," Rizzo said, "Those are decisions we make early on in that process and we've more or less decided that Adam is going to be our first baseman. Unless something extraordinary and out of the ordinary happened, that's how we're going to go into spring training."
Okay. Adam LaRoche will be the Nationals' first baseman in 2012! Except that, Monday, Tom Haudricourt passed along some talk that the Nationals are considered the favorites to sign Prince Fielder. And, backing that up to some degree, we get this report, from Bill Ladson:
The Nationals are in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, according to a baseball source, and ownership recently visited with Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, in the nation's capital.
I believe it's that meeting that's new news. We've heard that Boras has targeted owners, instead of front offices, and we've heard that Boras has had some meetings, but here we have a report directly connecting Boras and the Nationals. So what does this mean? Following are some possibilities:
- The Nationals are heavily interested in Prince Fielder
- The Nationals are somewhat interested in Prince Fielder, and remain involved
- The source is wrong
- The Nationals met with Boras to discuss another Boras client, like Edwin Jackson
Happy to clear things up by not at all clearing things up. The truth of the matter is that, if there's hard evidence, it hasn't been brought to light. The Nationals are thought to be the favorites because they make sense, they have money, and they aren't afraid of Scott Boras. But we don't know that the Nationals are the favorites. From lower in Ladson's article:
When asked about Fielder being linked to the Nationals, another source said: "I think Boras is using [the Nationals] to drive up the price with interested teams."
I totally believe that the Nationals could be the favorite in the Fielder sweepstakes. I totally believe that Boras could be using that Nationals in the Fielder sweepstakes, specifically because it's so easy to believe the Nationals could be the favorites in the Fielder sweepstakes. The more you examine, the less you know.
Are the Nationals hot in pursuit of Prince Fielder? Yes, no, maybe. Many people believe yes, which isn't worth nothing. It also isn't worth everything. With Scott Boras, it's usually best not to pretend to know anything until there's pen on paper.