Part One: In which I spin a small story into a wild post full of speculative rumor-mongering and piecemeal logic...
...And I thought MLB.com's Bill Ladson was crazy. All winter long, Mr. Ladson's been dropping hints of the Washington Nationals' interest in Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman Prince Fielder, and now FOXSports.com writer Ken Rosenthal is offering the Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin some unsolicited advice on how to "get creative" with the Brewers' roster in an article entitled, "Trading Fielder could help Brewers acquire pitching", which makes Mr. Ladson seem not crazy, but in fact, possibly prescient.
Now, first (or I guess second actually, after that incendiary first paragraph), I should caution that Mr. Rosenthal starts his article by writing, "(Brewers' GM Doug) Melvin said Thursday that he is not trying to make such a play, but," and it's quite a "but" really,...Mr. Rosenthal thinks that the Brewers should consider trading their big, 24-year-old, vegetarian first baseman, the aforementioned Prince Fielder, in an attempt to bring some young arms into the organization, since, in Mr. Rosenthal's opinion:
"The Brewers need pitching. They can't buy the quality they need, and they likely would be reluctant to trade another top position prospect after parting with outfielder Matt LaPorta in the CC Sabathia trade."
This Ken Rosenthal story probably never would have made me think of Washington's Nationals...(and Mr. Rosenthal doesn't mention the Nationals in the article)...as a trade partner for Milwaukee, if it hadn't been for the fact that MLB.com's Bill Ladson has been reporting, or at least repeating, all winter that the Nationals were in pursuit of a big bat at first base, and before surprising the baseball world with their legit offer to "The New York Yankees' New First Baseman", it was assumed, (correctly it turns out), that the Washington Nationals wouldn't be able to outspend the big clubs, (or the Yankees in particular, to be blunt, since DC actually, or at least reportedly, offered more to Mark T******a than the Red Sox were willing to put on the table...)
...But it all started back in October 21, 2008, in an article entitled, "For Johnson, injuries may linger into '09", where MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote:
"Whether they go out and spend a lot of money on a free agent such as Mark Teixeira remains to be seen. They most likely will have to trade for a player such as Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder."
That one surely caught my attention, but it wasn't until October 27th's edition of MLB.com's Bill Ladson's, "Mailbag: Looking at Lannan's future", that I started to really wonder, when Mr. Ladson again made mention of Fielder's name in response to a question about the chances DC had of signing Mark T- - x - - - a, with Mr. Ladson stating:
"I assume the Nationals would have to break the bank to sign Teixeira, and I don't see them doing that. I think they have to trade for a first baseman, such as the Brewers' Prince Fielder."
(ed. note - "Now I hate to interrupt here...but, Why the possessive apostrophe for "Brewers' Prince Fielder" and not "Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder"? Someone? Please tell me?")
I initially rejected the notion of Washington trading for Prince Fielder for fear of what the Nationals would have to give up to get him, especially after the DC Front Office had spent the last few years rebuilding the franchise's supply of prospects, and pitching talent in particular, (...and that's just what FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is proposing it would take to land Fielder...plus, whether DC even has the kind of arms in the organization that could interest Milwaukee is debatable), but after Mr. Ladson's two comments, I decided to keep an eye on the (non-)situation...
...A few weeks later, another MLB.com writer, Alden Gonzalez, had a post at MLB.com's Hot Stove Blog entitled, "Nationals shopping for hitters" referring readers to a Boston Globe article which claimed an "unnamed source" had said that DC GM Jim Bowden, "...has called numerous teams to ask about the availability of their best hitters." The Boston Globe article in question was a piece by the Globe's Nick Carfado entitled, "On the coast, it's very clear", where Mr. Carfado wrote, (in the sentences preceding Mr. Gonzalez's quoted text):
"...GM Jim Bowden has been very aggressive, acquiring Olsen and Willingham, and making a push for Teixeira - and if that doesn't work out, Adam Dunn..."
My own response at the time, (which I still stick by today):
"'San Diego, with Adrian Gonzalez? Milwaukee for Prince Fielder?...Who is DC GM Jim Bowden calling? (ed. note - 'Ahh...just buy yourself a Washington/Dunn jersey already, DC fans, you know that's what it will come to...')"
It hasn't come to that yet, (though Adam Dunn is still unsigned)...Adrian Gonzalez will most likely stay in San Diego as one of the few valuable assets left...(especially if Peavy's finally moved)...for the Padres' prospective new owner. Washington will probably try to go it again with Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young...Would you even want Washington to trade for Prince Fielder if Milwaukee would consider it? Would you give up some of the top pitching prospects like Jordan Zimmerman or Ross Detwiler, Shairon Martis or Collin Balester, or one of DC's young outfielders like Justin Maxwell or Leonard Davis if it could help bring the Son of Cecil to DC?...
So this is probably just what I initially described it as...a bit of unsolicited advice from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal to the Brewers' GM...It can't be the truth, right? MLB.com's Bill Ladson can't see into the future can he? This can't be true...or to paraphrase the narrator from the brilliant opening sequence of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia"...Let's just hope this is "one of things", a couple coincidental rumors... but any speculation about DC's Nationals actually trading away top prospects for the Brewers' first baseman Prince Fielder can't be true...this please, cannot be that.