Discussion

Washington's end game for Fielder

Updated: January 5, 2012, 10:22 AM ET
By Buster Olney

You can imagine Washington Nationals executives sitting around a conference table, weighing all the pros and cons of signing Prince Fielder, all the possible rewards, all the risks.

Put yourself in their place and think about all of these factors.

The pros:

1. Fielder's immediate impact on the lineup could be extraordinary and turn the Nationals into a power right away -- in the standings, and as a box-office draw and a boon to television ratings. During the past six seasons, Fielder has averaged 38 homers and 108 RBIs per year. His on-base percentage climbed to a career-high .415 last season. This is what the Nationals' lineup could look like by Aug. 1:

RF -- Jayson Werth
CF -- Bryce Harper
3B -- Ryan Zimmerman
1B -- Prince Fielder
LF -- Michael Morse
2B -- Danny Espinosa
C -- Wilson Ramos
SS -- Ian Desmond

This might be the best lineup in the National League, and if the Nationals' rotation "Big Three" -- Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg -- all stay healthy, this team could be good enough to play deep into the postseason.

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