Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Winter Meetings Chatter - Prince Fielder, Chris Marrero.

• FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi shook up NatsTown with their reports yesterday about the Washington Nationals talking Prince FielderMLB.com's Bill Ladson's report last night about Chris Marrero's injuries was interesting for two reasons. One, the Nats were apparently considering having the 23-year-old first baseman fill a bench role at the major league level (Lombardozzi as utility man?) and B) With Marrero expected to miss the start of Spring Training in a best-case-scenario, the Nats might actually need to explore a first base option now since Adam LaRoche is still working to recover from significant shoulder surgery. Of course they could bring Michael Morse back to first, but that opens up another hole in the outfield...It's all speculation at this point, but the Nats are going into the Winter Meetings with their name once again in the headlines. WWRD? What Will Rizzo Do? It's link time...

• THE BIG STORY: 

• "The Nationals are showing serious interest in [Prince] Fielder and view Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes as a potential Plan B, according to major-league sources." - "Washington Nationals show interest in free agent 1B Prince Fielder and Cuban OF Yoennis Cespedes" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Are the Nationals in need of a first baseman? The answer is yes, after it was learned that first baseman Chris Marrero tore his left hamstring while playing for the Licey Tigers..." - "Nationals seek first-base help after injury to Chris Marrero" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "This is a difficult injury for Marrero, who already struggled through a devastating broken leg in 2008, because of the timing." - "Chris Marrero's torn hamstring and how it affects the Nationals' bench" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "If the Nationals do not land a starter in free agency, don’t expect them to make a major trade for a pitcher." - "Nats’ winter wish list: proven starter and a center fielder" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "There's no official timetable for Marrero's recovery, but it's not uncommon for tears like this to sideline a player up to one year." - "Torn hamstring shelves Marrero" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "FoxSports reported Monday that the Washington Nationals have been talking to Fielder's agent, Scott Boras." -  "Report: Cubs interested in Fielder" - Tom Haudricourt, JSOnline

• "But what about others like Eury Perez? How close is the talented prospect from the Dominican to making the big leagues?" - "How close are the Nationals to developing their own leadoff centerfielder?" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Lannan is expected to be in the rotation in 2011. However, I wouldn't put it past GM Mike Rizzo if he traded Lannan to get that center fielder he is looking for." - "Inbox: Is John Lannan in Washington Nationals' plans for next year?" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'I’m not going to miss the whole year,' Marrero said. 'If you talk to people who had this injury, it takes a couple months to rehab from.'" - "Chris Marrero tears hamstring, leaves Nationals looking for insurance at first base" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "What Buehrle's looking for financially has not been reported precisely but most estimates have him in search of a four or five year deal valued at $15-$16 million per season at least." - "Post-holiday notes on Buehrle, Oswalt, Flores, Ramos and minor league signings" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "After Dec. 1, keep your eye on left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is expected to become a free agent. The Nationals have scouted Wada 'a lot' this past season and 'the team considers him an option.'" - "Washington Nationals head to Winter Meetings with to-do list" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• NATS WINTER LEAGUES/MINOR LEAGUES:

• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Caracas 4, Magallanes 10 - Jesus Flores (MAG) - 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI; Henry Rodriguez - 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB - Box Score.

• Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Licey 3, Estrellas 2 - Jhonatan Solano - 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 R - Box Score.

• NATSTOWN: 

• "[Marrero's] young enough that this probably won’t derail his career, bt it certainly could signal the end of his chances to make an impact on this team if he’s out for an extended time..." - "Marrero’s injury could impact roster significantly" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

ICYMI: Chase Hughes from CSNWashington.com, Dave Nichols from the District Sports Page and Federal Baseball talked Nats this weekend on the newest edition of Nationals Lunchbox:


• "We're still trying to figure out this whole  phenomenon of regular Joes opening packs of baseball cards on YouTube..." - "Watch a guy open a pack of baseball cards in a Target parking lot, find a Bryce Harper" - Nats Enquirer

• "The NationalsProspects.com Top 10 Position Players" - NationalsProspects.com

• "Talking about trading one of your most popular franchise players is often not a wise thing to do..." - "Zimmerman for McCutchen?" - Sean Hogan, DC is for Baseball

• "As the Washington Nationals find themselves once again at the center of offseason transaction talk, two big Nats players found their way in the discussion." - "Drew Storen for Andrew McCutchen: A Trade We'd Make A Thousand Times Over" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "During the 1942 season the Washington Senators played in 21 night games 7 more than the other teams in the American and Nationals Leagues." - "This Day in D.C. Baseball History – Griffith wants more Night Games" - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News

• "Nats GM Mike Rizzo and Boras have a strong working relationship with one another, even if they have had heated battles over players the last several years." - "Nationals Have Had Heavy Talks With Prince Fielder, Why It Makes Sense" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Developing inner values is much like physical exercise. The more we train our abilities, the stronger they become."

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Marlins: "Of the top two starters on the free agent market, the Marlins are believed to be highest on Buehrle, who pitched for manager Ozzie Guillen when both were with the Chicago White Sox." - "Miami Marlins wine, dine C.J. Wilson" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies"Ryan Howard should stick out, as he is (predictably) the most overrated of recent Phillies." - "Phillies Players and Popularity" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Braves: "Somewhere in the back of my mind I also think that the Braves would listen on Jonny Venters." - "Braves GM Wren On Dealing At Winter Meetings" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Mets"The winter is long, [Sandy] Alderson has said on more than one occasion. Let the markets unfold as they will." - "Mets look to lay groundwork at Winter Meetings" - Anthony DiComo, mets.com: News

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