Let's be perfectly honest...it was made pretty evident that signing Prince Fielder was going to come at a price tag that was at least $180 million. Sure, he would have been a great addition and is good for around 30 home runs and around 100 RBIs a season, but, at what cost?
Last off season the Nationals went out and spent $127 million on a player that did not work out (Jayson Werth...less). Am I saying that the same would have happened to Fielder? No. Trust me, he will be just as productive next season as he was last season. But, for the Nationals, all he would do is sell tickets.
The team was so adamant about keeping Adam LaRoche at first base. That was their whole reasoning for not signing Fielder right off the bat (no pun intended). Going out and spending upwards of $200 million to sing ANOTHER first baseman is just impractical at this point. The Nationals have not even gotten a chance the see what LaRoche is capable of because he was hurt for a majority of last season.
The depth that the Nationals currently have at first base is excellent. After Adam LaRoche, the Nats have Michael Morse (who will start in the outfield) and then Chris Marrero. They also have Tyler Moore. The depth at the position is fantastic. Let's not forget the fairly recent signing of do-it-aller Mark DeRosa. DeRosa can step in at any position in the infield and play well.
Since the Nationals have sparred themselves $200 million over the next nine years, they can now turn their attention to retaining this actually pretty decent roster that they have assembled. Doing things like extending contracts and resigning players that only signed a one year deal. They can even make sure that they keep their impressive farm system intact, as well.
Let's not forget, the Nationals are currently trying to give Ryan Zimmerman a contract extension. Still having that extra cash around will only make those negotiations easier.
Signing Prince Fielder to a lucrative contract would, in the long run, seemingly hurt the organization. The club would go back to the dismal days of having one star, but, no supporting cast.