Monday, November 7, 2011

Living on the Edge: Center Fielder

Will "Bossman Jr" be the next center fielder for the Nats?
Living on the Edge is a series of articles, looking at ways the Nationals can improve from almost being .500. Some teams get stuck in this area. This gray zone of sorts is dangerous. In dating terms it is "Friend Zone". 

The National have not been shy about their needs. On top of that list is center field. The free agent market is bare in that department. After Grady Sizemore, there isn't much left. The problem with Sizemore is his history of injuries.

"He has had two knee surgeries -- one on each knee -- in the last year and a half, including microfracture surgery on his left knee last year. He also suffered a sports hernia and a right knee injury. He is recovering from an Oct. 3 arthroscopic procedure on his right knee, which had a bone bruise and was part of the reason he was off the field for most of the second half of the season." Jesse Sanchez of
That isn't to say he wouldn't be the guy to get. His knees could be better now that he has had them repaired. That isn't for me to decide anyway. The Nats had doctors for that sort of thing. The talent he would bring if healthy is undeniable.

There are options besides Sizemore. However these options come at a cost. You have to trade value to get value in the trade market. If the Nats are going to trade for one, I am sure at the top of the list is BJ Upton. This guy is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game. He should be about to enter the prime of his career and the right situation could make him blossom as a player. Upton is someone the Nationals have long coveted.

The Kansas City Royals have an interesting situation at center field. They have Melky Cabrera and Lorenzo Cain. The team could be interested in trading with the Nationals since they soon plan to have too much pitching.

"Cabrera enjoyed a terrific rebound year in 2011 -- becoming the first Royals player with at least 200 hits since 2001 -- and is under club control for one more season. Although Kansas City would hate to break up an outfield of Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur and Cabrera, the Royals need pitching." Cash Kruth
The Royals also may be interested in trading Lorenzo Cain instead.
"The Chiefs are looking for starting pitching and Cain, acquired last year in the Zack Greinke deal, would make a nice trade chip. He is a 25-year-old fleet center fielder who hit .306 in 147 at-bats with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010. Cain spent most of this past season at Class AAA in large part because Melky Cabrera played surprisingly well in center for Kansas City. Spending another year in the minors would not be in the best interests of Cain or the Royals." Stan McNeal

Denard Span has been linked to the Nationals quite a few times. He also could use a change of scenery. e has all the tools to be a top of the line-up center fielder. The only question is if he can put all of his tools together and be successful.

The New Your Mets are considering releasing Angel Pagan. His salary is high and they want to go in a cheaper direction. If the Nats were to sign him, I guess it would be as a stop-gap until one of our young guys is ready for the spot.

CoCo Crisp is also a possibility, although I am not as big on him as others are.  Iknow he is popular, but that doesn't make him what we need. I am not the one that has to make the decision so, he is another option.

Just like with starting pitching, The Nationals have a few different options. If they want to improve again next year by ten games this may be one of the most important decisions they make this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment