Some news out of D.C. from Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post…
- The Nationals could use a right-handed power bat and/or first base help given Ryan Zimmerman’s injury history, though the biggest option in both categories (Edwin Encarnacion) isn’t likely to be a possibility. Janes notes that the Nats haven’t made much contact with Encarnacion’s agents, and he is an imperfect fit since Washington is still counting on Zimmerman (who is too expensive to bench) as a regular. Janes cites Jose Bautista, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss as potential Nationals targets who would bring an ability to help out in the outfield, though she notes that most of this group would be better suited to an AL team that can provide DH at-bats.
- Stephen Drew is getting some attention from teams as an everyday player, which could make a return to the Nationals unlikely given the team’s infield depth. Drew hit .266/.339/.524 over 165 PA for D.C. last season, splitting time between second, third and shortstop. If Drew goes leave, Wilmer Difo is the top choice as the new utility infielder and Clint Robinson would become Washington’s top left-handed bench bat.
- In another piece, Janes reports that the Nationals haven’t had many talks with Wilson Ramos’ camp in the last couple of weeks. The two sides were scheduled to touch base at the GM Meetings, though apparently little has taken place since, leaving the Nats still looking for a catcher in a thinning market (as Brian McCann and Jason Castro have been removed from the board). Since there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty about how much of the 2017 season Ramos will miss due to his ACL surgery, he could get more attention from Washington and other teams once his recovery timeline is more clearly established.