Nationals Interested In Carmona, Sizemore

WEDNESDAY, 8:59pm: Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer says "there's not much meat" to the rumor about Carmona and Sizemore potentially going to the Nationals. MLB.com's Bill Ladson says he's heard the same (Twitter links).

TUESDAY, 7:52pm: The Nationals have had "conversations" with the Indians about Fausto Carmona and Grady Sizemore, reports Phil Wood of MASNsports.com.  Another source tells Wood the Nats "are working on 'a number' of other trades," as well. 

Nats GM Mike Rizzo has been open about his frustration at not being able to acquire a top-flight starting pitcher this winter, but acquiring Tom Gorzelanny and adding Carmona would certainly ease that disappointment.  Washington could well have been one of the several teams that were interested in Carmona in December, but the Indians are in no hurry to trade the right-hander given that he's on an affordable, option-heavy contract through 2014.

Sizemore is set to earn $7.5MM this season and the Tribe have an $8.5MM option on him for 2012 (with a $500K buyout).  Cleveland would like to unload that contract, but after two injury-plagued years, Sizemore's trade value is at its lowest point.  If the Indians accepted a buy-low offer and then saw Sizemore regain his All-Star form elsewhere, that lack of maximum return for Sizemore would be a damaging move to the rebuilding Tribe.

From the Nationals' perspective, they clearly have money to spend and can afford a $7.5MM risk to see if Sizemore returns to form.  Carmona is obviously the safer and probably preferable option due to his team-friendly contract and the fact that he could post even better numbers in the NL.  The question is whether the Nats have the prospects that Cleveland would want for either player, since Washington's farm system isn't known to be very deep.

In other Nats news, Wood predicts Alberto Gonzalez may be designated for assignment to make room for the newly-signed Alex Cora.  Gonzalez, a utility infielder, posted a .578 OPS in 198 plate appearances with Washington last season.


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