Prince not on Nationals' winter shopping list

Prince not on Nationals' winter shopping list

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals don't intend to go after Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder once he becomes a free agent, according to a baseball source within the Nationals organization.

The source pointed out that it doesn't make sense for Washington to go after Fielder because it will have two first basemen -- Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche -- under contract next year.

Morse is having the best season of his career and will be moved back to the outfield once LaRoche is healthy. LaRoche has missed most of the season with shoulder problems, but he is expected to be 100-percent healthy for Spring Training.

"I can't play this year, obviously, so they may push it back to November or something -- I don't know," LaRoche said recently on when he expects to start throwing. "There's no reason to push it, but I feel ready to start throwing and swinging. It feels really good. I haven't had any setbacks, so hopefully that continues."

Another source pointed out that the Nationals' biggest needs are a center fielder and a leadoff hitter. The Nationals were going after Denard Span of the Twins, B.J. Upton of the Rays and Michael Bourn, who was then with the Astros, at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but general manager Mike Rizzo was unwilling to trade many talented players. This offseason may be a different story.