While the Washington Nationals remain at the heart of the Prince Fielder rumor hysteria, there are a few remaining questions -- like what to do with Ryan Zimmerman long term, whether the bench is deep enough, or if the club should take another shot at acquiring B.J. Upton.
Ken Rosenthal's sources are saying that the question of Zimmerman's future might be answered sooner than we might have thought, with an extended contract already in play. Also, the Post takes a look at the bench and Federal Baseball explores the B.J. Upton idea:
Sources: Nationals know Zimmerman's price - Ken Rosenthal
"Contract negotiations are fluid, but two other sources suggest that an agreement between Zimmerman and the Nationals is within reach. Zimmerman, 27, is under contract for $12 million in 2012 and $14 million in 2013. After that, he is eligible for free agency."
Prince Fielder aside, few questions remain for the Nationals - The Washington Post
"The bench seems a little thin, and if the Nationals make one non-Fielder addition, it’ll probably be a bat to augment their reserves. But from where he sits, Johnson does not see many questions to answer before opening day. That’s a far cry from cattle calls of seasons past, which Johnson considers a signal of the Nationals’ progress."
Should The Washington Nationals Take One More Run At B.J. Upton? - Federal Baseball
The Nats' general manager explained that his front office had a clear idea of Upton's value and what they'd be willing to part with in return for the center fielder, (and what the Nationals' have in the organization as far as potential future CFers that could keep them from having to trade for the need) but unless something changed with their own or the Rays' "scenario," the GM said, it didn't seem like anything was going to happen.
Having explored the possibilities, the D.C. GM said during a late-December MLB Network Radio interview that the Nats, "... look at the big picture of center field and we see the 2013 free agent class at center field is much stronger than it is for the 2012 season." Upton figures to be part of that free agent class.
Nationals, Prince Fielder remain in talks - Adam Kilgore | The Washington Post
"The Nationals have been connected to Fielder for weeks, with the owners meeting with Fielder’s representative, Scott Boras, on multiple occasions. The Texas Rangers have been the team most commonly regarded as a suitor for Fielder, but another potential landing spot has emerged for Fielder, and one that could pique the Nationals’ interest: the Baltimore Orioles."
Nationals, Prince Fielder Working Towards Deal - MLB Daily Dish
"According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Washington Nationals and 1B Prince Fielder are working on a deal, but do not have a deal in place as of this time. Just yesterday, we heard that the Nationals -- along with the Texas Rangers -- were frontrunners in the Fielder sweepstakes."