Is Prince Fielder headed for Washington, D.C.?
Or will he end up elsewhere?
Well, we really don't know the question to that just yet. Until we find out where Fielder will be playing in 2012, we get the fun task of speculating.
Plenty of rumors have the slugger pegged as a future National. Word from his camp and that of the Nationals has been next to nothing, though.
If he did go to Washington, the move would certainly shake up a few things. The Nationals have yet to have a decent season since their move to D.C. but have done quite a bit to change their chances next season.
This is a little piece about the ways Fielder would not only impact Washington by signing with the Nationals, but have an effect on the rest of Major League Baseball.
The Nationals have solid pitching. Fielder would bring part of the offense to back it up.
They could give both the dominant Philadelphia Phillies and the always competitive Atlanta Braves a run for their money as early as next season. It also depends on how Bryce Harper does once he gets up to the majors and if Jayson Werth can bounce back from last year.
The Eastern division of the National League would no longer be an essentially two-team group with the addition of the newly strengthened Washington Nationals and the much-improved Miami Marlins.
The Jayson Werth deal already looks like it will be one the Nationals organization will regret making, but the outfielder isn't the only one with a huge payday coming up.
Washington will also have to look at extending Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Steven Strasburg, as well as Bryce Harper when that time comes.
Add in Prince Fielder and the Nationals aren't going to have a whole lot of money left over to be part of future expensive free-agent negotiations for a few years.
Continuing in the direction of big expenses, the Nationals will also be one of the examples when it comes to the luxury tax regulations in the new CBA.
The Nationals could see the same issue later on with all their expensive contracts looming in the future. Everyone will be waiting to see how it affects the franchise.
The impact of Prince Fielder in Washington won't only impact the team on the field.
Fielder Nationals jerseys, shirts or whatever promotions the team comes up with will fly off the shelf.
His presence will generate buzz, leading to a huge increase in income for the Nationals, meaning they will have more to give to the rest of the teams at the end of the season.
The All-Star Break: A time where some teams once again start looking toward next season, and where the contenders can potentially take advantage of their situation.
With Fielder, the Nationals have a great chance of being near the top of the NL East in July, and could very well be buyers at that time.
The Nationals have plenty of prospects to trade if they were sellers. If they're still in contention, those targets won't be available to other hopeful teams.
One less seller means one less team to deal with, as well as one more team to compete with over trades and waivers.