Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nats Looking For Center Fielder

Nats Looking For Center Fielder; Asked About Bourn: MLB Rumors -

Regardless of the particular details, should this Ladson story be true in essence, then I give one thumbs up to the Washington front office.

If they have identified the need for a CF with a high OBP as a major priority then they are 1) smart 2) on the right track

Now, as is pointed out in the comments of this piece, this commodity is rare. So saying they will "overpay" is not really all that meaningful. They WILL overpay and should they actually find the guy, they SHOULD overpay.

They have a young catcher, a young shortstop, a young 2B, young closer and two young top of the rotation type starters. Those are the toughest positions to find major league caliber talent and the Nats have at least the promise of a major league average regular there. The other tough position centerfield.

And right now, nothing. You can squint a bit and think Eury Perez but moving up I'm more likely to think he's more Endy Chavez than Tim Raines.

The other key point is: none of these position players nor anyone likely to man the remaining positions are going to be a true high OBP leadoff guy.

Which kind of forces the Nats hand in re: CF. If that guy isn't a leadoff hitter, they will always be crippled by having someone not suited to leading off, leading off. (They could make Jayson Werth the leadoff hitter I suppose but that would take some out of the box thinking that I haven't seen from Riggleman)

They can't think the husk of Pudge and Sptintin' Todd Coffey is going to get them this rare commodity. That's why I hope they don't have a compunction about overpaying. Now, MY definition of overpaying would include (and in fact be my leading bargaining chip) be taking on a bad contract from the team with the right CF prospect. The Giants are an excellent trading partner in that respect seeing as how they possess at least two terrible contracts. It remains to be seen if they possess the right prospect though.

(Aside: wouldn't it be nice right about now a scant few days before the draft, to have draft picks in play?)

What about Harper? In theory, he could solve both problems (CF and leadoff). But I think the same trepidation applies to Harper as it does to Werth. They don't LOOK like leadoff guys and their bats are more typical of middle of the order hitters. Not to mention adding more pressure to Harper as a leadoff guy when he'll be trying to establish himself at the major league level at a young age anyway means they can't be thinking about that as a long term answer.

Still I say go forth and overpay Mike. If you can add some pieces by dealing Pudge and Coffey please do. Jason Marquis should fetch a fat price as well. Just keep your eyes on the prize.

No comments:

Post a Comment