Nationals Continue Monitoring Center Field Market

The Nationals are set to rely on some combination of Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina and Jayson Werth in center field this year, but they’re not ruling out potential acquisitions at the position. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains that any trade would have to provide the team with something more than a stopgap.

“I think if we can answer our long-term question now, we’ll do so,” GM Mike Rizzo told Kilgore. “We won’t make the change for a short-term answer.”

Kilgore reports that the team doesn’t want to block prospects such as Michael Taylor, Brian Goodwin and Eury Perez unless the possibility of a significant upgrade exists. Remarkably, 25 Nationals have started at least one game in center field since the team moved to D.C. 

The Nationals have had internal discussions about making pushes for Peter Bourjos and Adam Jones, Kilgore writes. They've also been linked to Gerardo Parra of the Diamondbacks. B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino are set to hit free agency after the 2012 season, when the Nationals could bid for their services if they haven't yet found a center fielder. 

The Indians are also monitoring the center field market after losing Grady Sizemore for two to three months.

40 Responses to Nationals Continue Monitoring Center Field Market Leave a Reply

  1. wickedkevin 3 years ago

    Meanwhile in 2010…2011…2012

    • CreativeMace 3 years ago

      Another year of B.J. Upton rumors… yes!

      • gmenfan 3 years ago

         I kinda feel like this year is the year that he finally gets moved though.

  2. Jeremiah Graves 3 years ago

    Or maybe Billy Beane can just go ahead and move Cespedes to the Nats and ravage the parts of their farm system he couldn’t get his mitts on in the Gio deal?!

  3. Mike Christian 3 years ago

    Rajai Davis

  4. Michael Taylor is with the A’s, not the Nationals.

    • Pseudonymus Bosch 3 years ago

      There are two CF prospects named Michael Taylor. MLBTR inserted the wrong link – should be Michael A. Taylor, not Michael D. Taylor.

  5. Kevin Swords 3 years ago

    Bryce Harper could be manning RF soon enough for the Nationals (a late April call-up will delay his free agent status by a year), that moves Werth to CF with Morse remaining in LF.  That won’t stop them from pursuing a CF’er this offseason, allowing Morse to move to 1B.

    • sportsnut969 3 years ago

      The Date Harper can join the team is April 25th just so everyone knows I imagine he will be in the nationals dugout on the 24th barring a injury.

  6. NorthSideIrish 3 years ago

    Marlon Byrd…quality guy, last year of his deal, and the Cubs would probably be willing to eat some of the money to get some decent low level prospects.

    • AaronSomers 3 years ago

      And exactly how is Marlon Byrd an upgrade over Ankiel/Bernadina/Werth? Also, he doesn’t address the concern from a long-term perspective. In other words, he’s not an option. 

      • NorthSideIrish 3 years ago

        Higher WAR the past two years than Bernadina/Ankiel combined and he’s off the books next year when Harper pushes Werth to center. Also costs significantly less to acquire than Upton, Jones, Parra, etc. Nationals could do a lot worse.

        • AaronSomers 3 years ago

          Yes, he does have a higher WAR total and the team could do worse. But the point is that he doesn’t address the team’s concerns from a long-term perspective. Neither does Werth because he’s not a permanent option for center either. 

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

       I think Marlon Byrd would be a nice add to the Nationals.  In a lot of ways, he’s a better player than any of the others they are considering for CF with the exception of Jayson Werth.

      Also, one year contract, fan friendly in an organization trying to build their fan base, and not to go all racial, but the D. C. area would love to have and be a very welcoming place for an African American all around good guy who is fairly good all around player.

      It doesn’t give them a long term solution, but it does buy them time as they continue to cycle in their youth.

  7. LUWahooNatFan 3 years ago

    The link takes you to the wrong Michael Taylor… 

    Both Michael A. Taylor and Brian Goodwin are at least 2 or 3 years from cracking the big league roster

    Unless you can get someone like Bourjos(highly unlikely), I’d just wait till the off-season and make a move on Bourn, Victorino(both of which could lead-off, though Victorino wants a 5 year deal which I would be completely against) or even Upton who would get you a solid CF, but still leave a hole at leadoff.. If you can sign one of those three you move Werth to LF, and Morse to 1B

  8. The link goes to the Michael Taylor that plays for the A’s. 

  9. CommissionerBart 3 years ago

    In addtion to other characteristics the Nats are seeking in a cf….good defense, speed on bases, leadoff hitter, young…..they’re going to need someone who hits righties better than lefties (so likely a left handed hitter or a switch hitter).

    Harper and LaRoche hit left handed and Espinoza is a switch hitter. The other starters swing from the right. When Harper joins the club, he pushes Morse to first and LaRoche is either trade bait or plays irregularly.

    So what cf fits the above criteria and can be had in trade, perhaps for LaRoche, Lannan, and 1 or 2 of the kid cf’s in the minors whose path would now be blocked?  Nats should be able to acquire someone of at least some distinction.

  10. I’d have no qualms about Jones to the Nats, as long as they were prepared to pay a little extra, being an hour away from the O’s.

  11. blovy8 3 years ago

    If the Nats had wanted Crisp, they would have signed him. There’s not much chance they’d give up anything for that guy now. I’m not really sure why they never made an offer on Aoki, unless they didn’t think he had the arm for center. Rizzo initially said good things about Soler, but other clubs seem to be set to bid higher. While Taylor and Goodwin are fine prospects, Perez doesn’t look like he’ll pan out given the high K #s in the low minors. I really think they blew it not adding a capable low-cost outfielder like Fukodome for the bench. If any of LaRoche, Morse, or Werth miss time, it’ll be a really ugly outfield even if Harper comes up soon. After putting so much effort into pitching that they have more starters than they can use, they left out some easy upgrades for their bench.

  12. BarrelMan 3 years ago

    Geez, Nats, this is taking like four years. Just go internally this year and tell reporters you’re set for 2012.

  13. Raylan Givens' Stetson 3 years ago

    Gerardo Parra.  You could get him now instead of at the trade deadline.  I wouldn’t say he would come cheap, but I don’t think he would require a king’s ransom either.  I wouldn’t think that Arizona is looking to get rid of him, but given the outlook of playing time for him they have less of a reason to try to hold on to him.  If the Nationals later realize that they don’t need him, they can certainly trade him to another team, there’s always going to be some demand for a player with his skill level at low cost in terms of money.

  14. J.j. Miller 3 years ago

     A’s have several cf types

    Cespedes, Crisp, Cowgill, Reddick

    Slated for AAA- Grant Green, Jermaine Mitchell

    I think Cowgill might be the best match- mlb ready, wont be blocking any prospects.

  15. Dodgers1981 3 years ago

    Trade the Dodgers for Gwynn.  He is the D’d #4 or #5.  He has great defensive skills – highly rated speed and above average arm.  He will be a 260 hitter with a 310 OBA.

  16. $7562574 3 years ago

    do the nationals think the angels are just like small market nationals are? 

  17. Willjhull 3 years ago

    This has to be the most played out Headline in baseball history. Get over it Rizzo, you locked yourself into this situation by way over paying for a RF and a 1B. I mean for the most part he has done a good job but you don’t have the financial flexibility not the MLB proven talent to get any of the top-tier cf available. Even those available don’t rally address the Nats most pressing need, a lead off hitter. CF is actually a very strong defensive position. Let Ankiel play the first month (Harper is not going to be there anyway till the end of April at the earliest). If Ankiel comes back and produces offensively trade or release Adam do u can move morse to first if you decide to bring Harper up. It’s that simple. Harper in left, Ankiel in center and morse in right. You will need a strong CF like Ankiel to flank those two.

    • AaronSomers 3 years ago

      In between your atrocious grammar, you’re missing a few key points. First, where is Werth in your scenario? Second, how’d the team overpay exactly to fill 1B? Finally, do you know anything about this organization that leads you to believe they don’t have the “financial flexibility” to find a quality CF? The Nats have one of the richest owners in all of MLB. They haven’t spent a great deal on payroll to date because the team wasn’t ready to compete. They’re being smart about it, spending to compliment the roster with those final pieces rather than simply buying a better team. 

  18. I’m just gonna say it. I might be the only Nats fan who thinks this, but we should have kept Nyjer.

    • Christian Franklin 3 years ago

      No way. Especially now with old school Davey at the helm.

    • CommissionerBart 3 years ago

      Bad clubhouse mojo. Person out of balance.

  19. padresfuture 3 years ago

    Will Venable could be a name to keep an eye on. The Padres can replace his spot with either Kyle Blanks or Blake Tekotte.

    • AaronSomers 3 years ago

      Venable isn’t a terrible option for depth, but he’s really more of a corner guy than a center fielder. 

  20. AaronSomers 3 years ago

    Crisp cannot be traded until June without his consent. He turned down a chance at more money in St. Louis to stay in Oakland. I don’t see him suddenly wanting to be traded with Cespedes in the mix. 

  21. johnsilver 3 years ago

    He also returned to Oakland to get playing time.. IF Cespedes should all of a sudden (say by May) be grabbing more and more time.. Crisp may be more willing to move.

    Yes to Upton named above.. he won’t produce like Victorino of course, but should give the Nat’s something they have needed for some time.

    Then again.. If Rizzo was to get Crisp somehow from Beane? he might see (and Nats fans as well) that crisp is as good, or better, than anyone in CF..Minus the arm and has the speed one wants also and he is only signed until after 2013, not on the hook for a huge LT investment or anything.

  22. RSKelley 3 years ago

    Very true, Oakland likes Crisp and they need a veteran. He plays good ‘D, runs well and is a solid hitter (his numbers are surpressed by the coliseum and Oakland’s weak lineup).

    They shouldn’t trade away their future, but the Nationals do need a centerfielder. Spending this much (and trading AJ Cole, Norris, Milone, Peacock to get) on hitting and pitching, only to have Rick Ankiel and Brett Carroll patrolling centerfield isn’t smart. It’s a very important defensive position, especially important for a team with so many young pitchers (and the VERY fly-ball prone Tyler Clippard).

    I know division-rival trades are rare, but what about Chris Coghlan from the Marlins? Miami doesn’t have space for him, and he plays a nice centerfield. True, he’s left-handed– making it tought to fit Bernadina and Ankiel on the roster– but he’s a valuable centerfielder. I’m sure the Marlins would readily accept a package that included two of Michael Taylor, Destin Hood, David Freitas, John Lannan or maybe even Ross Detwiler straight up.

    The whole “blocking thing” is a bit out of line. Eury Perez and Taylor are both 2+ years away from even competing for an everyday job. Perez has almost no power and will probably be a fourth outfielder while Taylor is extremely raw. Brian Goodwin has zero professional experience. 

  23. AaronSomers 3 years ago

    OK, but if Washington wanted Crisp they could have pursued him this winter? They didn’t and were never even really discussed as an option. I don’t know, I just don’t see him being an actual option. 

  24. cookmeister 3 years ago

    Why would they be motivated to trade him?  He’s cheap, great in center, good base runner, and has a little pop at the plate.  His hitting is the only downside to his game, but he still did pretty well last year and will only get better.  With Trout being only 20, the Angels have options to get him more prepared after the season when Hunter becomes a FA and Abreu is gone.

  25. Rusty_Arcadia 3 years ago

    The angels have absolutely no desire to trade PeBo. He is an exciting young player that plays Gold Glove caliber defense, will improve at the plate and has a team friendly contract. Hunter will be a FA next year, there is no need to make any outfield moves other than trade Abreu unless the other team is willing to overpay.

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