Rizzo On Center Field, First Base

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo joined Mike Ferrin on MLB Network Radio today; here are a few key comments.

On center field:

We see the 2013 free agent class at center field is much stronger than it is for the 2012 season.  With that in mind we know Jayson [Werth] can handle the center field position.  It's not a perfect world for us.  He's a good defender out there and is ready, willing, and able to take on the responsibility to play center field.  We recognize that we need a true gliding, defensive, rangy center fielder out there in a perfect world. As far as the 2012 season we're not going to make a kneejerk reaction and lock ourselves into anything long-term if it doesn't make sense for us.  

MLBTR's 2013 free agent list can be seen here.  Viable candidates for the Nationals could include Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, and Shane Victorino, or perhaps Angel Pagan or Grady Sizemore if they have strong 2012 seasons.

On whether Rizzo will monitor the Prince Fielder situation:

Adam LaRoche is under contract for us, we're paying him a lot of money to play first base for us next year.  We feel that he's going to have a bounceback season.  We just want him to have his career norms: .265, 25, 85-100 RBIs and play great defense.  We feel that his shoulder is rehabbed, he's 100%, and talking to him just recently he feels great and he's ready to contribute to us in 2012.  As far as, are we going to dabble our toe in that water?  Those are decisions that we make early on in the process and we've more or less decided that Adam is going to be our first baseman unless something extraordinary, out of the ordinary happened, that's how we're going to go to Spring Training.

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