The Washington Nationals have made free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder their primary target among offensive players and Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes is their “Plan B,” according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The Nationals are “showing serious interest” in Fielder but talks hit a roadblock on Monday, according to Rosenthal.
Cespedes, 26, must first establish temporary residence in the Dominican Republic and petition Major League Baseball for free agency, but Rosenthal reports bidding on him could begin next week at the winter meetings. The Marlins and Red Sox are among numerous other clubs showing interest in Cespedes, according to Rosenthal.
Rosenthal reports that the Cubs, Mariners and Rangers are all also expected to pursue Fielder, among other teams; new Cubs manager Dale Sveum was Fielder’s hitting coach in Milwaukee. Fielder, 27, hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBIs last season for the Brewers. Currently, the Nationals have both Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse available to play first base; LaRoche, 32, is coming off shoulder surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training and Morse could shift to the outfield to accommodate Fielder, according to Rosenthal.