Nationals manager Jim Riggleman says that he would like to get a leadoff hitter for next season, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. While there are already several candidates in-house such as Nyjer Morgan, Roger Bernadina, Ian Desmond, and Danny Espinosa, the club may look to the free agent market or the trade block to get someone for the top of the order.
As we learned last month, Washington has strong interest in Carl Crawford who figures to be one of the biggest draws on the open market this winter. Obviously, there will be plenty of suitors for the 29-year-old and the Nats may not be able to beat out teams with deeper pockets.
Our own Ben Nicholson-Smith sees another free agent left fielder, Corey Patterson, as another potential fit. With a glut of outfielders, the Orioles may not bring the 31-year-old back in 2011. Patterson could have some appeal to the Nats as a fourth outfielder who can lead off. There could also be some interesting options available via trade such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Reggie Willits, and Kosuke Fukudome.