November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
1. Sign Prince Fielder: I know, I know, I have written about it before, but it is true. The best singular move the Nationals can make is to sign the big time slugger. While most of the focus in Washington is on finding a starting pitcher and a centerfielder (two other big needs, see below), adding an impact bat is key. The Nationals finished near the bottom on the league in just about every major hitting category, and while the upgrade in CF will help they need more.
Yes Prince Fielder is expensive, but you also have a year where the Yankees and Red Sox won't be bidding, and other big market teams like the Dodgers, White Sox, etc. are out of the running. The Nats can afford him, and can save a good chunk of change next year by dealing Adam LaRoche.
Adding Fielder to that lineup, instantly makes everyone better, and if Michael Morse can continue his onslaught of opposing pitching, the Nationals offense could really be something to be feared. I realize it creates a potential logjam for when Bryce Harper is ready, but you cross that bridge when you need to. You don't pass up an impact bat like Prince Fielder simply because you hope that Morse can hit the same and Harper will be ready by June.
2. Sign Roy Oswalt: Yes there are a number of interesting pitching options out there, but I think Oswalt is the best option for the Nationals. Oswalt should definitely come cheaper than a C.J. Wilson or an Edwin Jackson. And he has the unique of being a former 'ace' pitcher, which could lend some valuable for Stephen Strasburg. I know there are some injury concerns, but if he checks out medically, I think he'd be the perfect addition to the Nationals rotation to slot in the 3rd pitchers spot.
3. Trade For Peter Bourjos: The Nationals need a centerfielder, but the options aren't great on the open market. And while long-time Nationals target, B.J. Upton is likely to get non-tendered, Washington can do better. Bourjos is young, under team control for 5 more years, and could be the answer to their lead-off problems. Bourjos, isn't a perfect lead-off hitter since he still doesn't take a ton of walks, but his .271/.327/.438 slash line is a huge improvement over what Nationals centerfielders did a year ago, .241/.299/.363. Bourjos also offers plus-plus speed, and could be a 40-50 SB type of guy (he only had 22 SB last year, but that should improve). And as his slugging percentage shows, he's not just a slap hitter. Bourjos had 49 extra base hits last year (out of 136), including 26 doubles, 11 triples and 12 home runs. On top of that Bourjos is one of the best defensive centerfielders in the league right now. While the Angels don't have to trade him, with veteran OF's at the corners and uber-prospect Mike Trout ready, Los Angeles will be willing to make a deal. It will cost a good bit, probably Drew Storen and a prospect or two, but it would be worth it.