September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Left Field: Returning- Michael Morse, Roger Bernadina:
Until Bryce Harper is ready to come up, which should be between June 2012 and June 2013, the Nationals are fine having Mike Morse as their primary left fielder. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, but Morse the last year and a half has been an offensive force. If he keeps that up no one will care about his defense in the outfield. Bernadina is a good 4th outfielder to have around, because he can back up any position and has really good speed. He'd be a nice late inning replacement for Morse. The real issue is what do the Nationals do when Bryce Harper is ready for the majors. Now this affects all the outfielders, but with Jayson Werth's contract he is all but untradable (even if he was producing) Morse on the other hand has a favorable contract decided by Arb. (through 2013), and if the Nationals get a big return back it would make some sense, to deal him to clear way for Harper.
Center field: Returning-None
The Nationals really don't have an internal center field option for next season as Bernadina, Werth and Harper are all better fits at the corner. The team instead is probably going to acquire one of the following:
Denard Span- The Nationals were close to acquiring Span at the trade deadline for closer Drew Storen, the fact that Span has been out with a concussion probably torpedoed any chance for a deal, but they could revisit it this offseason. Span is still in his 20's and signed to a very team favorable deal for the next few seasons. The Nats might need to give up one of their top relievers and a prospect, but it should be worth it.
B.J. Upton- Another popular target for the Nationals. Upton is in his final arbitration year, and the Rays are probably ready to move on. It won't cost as much as Span, but they'd also need to workout a long term contract. Also, Upton isn't nearly as good as a leadoff hitter as Span.
Peter Bourjos-Bourjos had a really nice first full season with the Angels this year, show good promise at the plate, excellent defense and quality base running. Unfortunately for Bourjos is there is no real guaranteed spot next year. As uber-prospect Mike Trout is ready to take CF, and both Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter are under contract for next season. Instead the Angels might look to capitalize on Bourjos and deal him while his value is the highest (he still has 5 years of team control left). The Nationals would need to part with one of their top relievers and probably another prospect, but they could fill their CF hole.
Right field- Returning: Jayson Werth:
This has been a rough year for Jayson Werth, but I do believe that he could rebound and be an effective outfielder again. The Nationals might not fully get their money's worth, but if he starts hitting they can come close.
The Nationals should consider adding an impact bat at 1B if they can afford it, while grabbing a lead-off hitter/CF via trade. Dealing Mike Morse might be an option if Bryce Harper is ready this season, otherwise it will be a good problem for the Nationals to have.