Dec 17, 2010, 11:00 AM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Josh Willingham's trade opens the door for Roger Bernadina to start in left field.
If it wasn't clear before, it certainly became obvious yesterday when Mike Rizzo traded Josh Willingham to the Oakland A's. The Nationals' general manager is remodeling his roster to include more guys who fit his description of the perfect ballplayer: Well-rounded players who not only produce at the plate but also in the field and on the bases.
One of Rizzo's buzzwords this winter has been "athleticism." It's one of the primary traits he looks for in his players. And those who don't have it are getting shipped out in short order.
Adam Dunn didn't fit the mold, so he's now DH'ing on the South Side of Chicago. Josh Willingham didn't fit it either, so he's now the starting left fielder in the East Bay.
What remains is a Nationals roster that is much more to Rizzo's liking. Just about every member of the projected Opening Day lineup (aside from the empty space at first base and Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate) possesses "athleticism." They have good range in the field. They have the ability to lay out to catch a ball hit just on the cusp ofRead more »
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