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CF trade market appears thin

Dec 6, 2011, 8:15 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
The Nats like Peter Bourjos, but the Angels don't plan to move him.

DALLAS — Though the Nationals would love to emerge from the Winter Meetings with a new center fielder, their lack of viable options at the position makes that a daunting challenge.

With few appealing choices on the free-agent market, general manager Mike Rizzo has suggested a trade is the most likely avenue toward acquiring a center fielder. But the trade market at these meetings doesn't appear to be much stronger.

Of the three names most often mentioned as possible targets — B.J. Upton, Peter Bourjos, Angel Pagan — only Upton is expected to be made available, according to baseball sources.

Bourjos — a speedy, 24-year-old who excels in the field and is under team control for five more seasons — fits the Nationals' needs. But a source familiar with the Angels said that club has no interest in tradingRead more ยป

  1. Souldrummer - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Would folks be willing to move Norris in a package for Upton? Norris and one of the pitching prospects might get it done.

  2. FS - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Even if he is not non-tendered, Nats can try to get him once his price becomes too high for Rays' restricted budget so all is not lost yet.I think Angels are better off keeping Bourjos. With all those aging OFs, they need to hold onto some young players.Anyways, at this point, Upton is the best fit for us.

  3. jcj5y - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I think the Nats and Rays will ultimately settle on a lower price, assuming the Nats are teh only real suitor for Upton. The Rays aren't dumb; they know that one year of BJ Upton isn't really worth a high-end prospect. But they don't like their players to leave as free agents for no compensation (which is where Upton is headed under the new CBA if they don't trade him). So I think that if Rizzo sticks to his guns, he can get Upton for a relatively low price. If he can't, he should walk away.

  4. RizNO - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    BUT Rizzo promised he would bring us one from the Winter Meetings…oh wait he promised he would get us a ACE last Winter Meetings #EPICFAIL LMFAO!!!

  5. Binx Bolling - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Cody Ross should be brought in.

  6. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    I would give up Norris straight up for Upton. I wouldn't include a top 15 pitcher with him. Upton is 1 year and he comes with baggage. There is a reason the Rays don't want him.

  7. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Coco Crisp. I want him for a lot of reasons, among them is his amazingly cool name.dfh21

  8. josh f - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Could be Cespedes, maybe.

  9. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    @Anonymous said… Coco Crisp. I want him for a lot of reasons, among them is his amazingly cool name.dfh21 December 6, 2011 3:34 PM Forgot about Coco Crisp. He can be had on a Free Agent deal. I actually like that idea better. Cespedes is an interesting long-term deal with risk that he can't hit MLB pitching.

  10. Tcostant - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    This reminds me of last year when Rizzo wanted a #1 starter, but faced reality later. Same old same old, just CF instead of starting pitching.I would not give up Norris for Upton for many of the reason listed above. But for a young, controlable player like Peter Bourjos I would package Norris with Deltwiler and a Bernasina, and maybe even more than that…

  11. JamesFan - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Buy a hitt for right, move Werth to center and move on.

  12. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Coco Crisp's stats indicate that he is Roger Bernadina who isn't left handed. Their advanced stats are almost equal. So, why would you want Crisp again? Oh for the bench in back of Harper, Werth and Morse who is producing at almost elite levels offensively? I doubt Crisp would go for that at this point. He really IS NOT that good for a lot of reasons. Else I bet they would have signed him? Honestly, Morgan was a lot better if you look at the stats. In the end I think Werth, Ankiel, Brown are the answer until we see if Eury Perez, Taylor, Goodwin, and Komatsu provide an answer. All could end up as corner outfielders due to their fielding. Only Corey Brown is a true CF after Werth who did well out there last year unless they bring back Ankiel. My guess is he signs somewhere else just like Nix.

  13. bups - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Upton is a strikeout machine. He's averaged 160 strikeouts over the past three seasons with an OBP of .322. This guy is not a lead-off hitter. I say–pass on him. We already have more than enough strikeout machines.

  14. David - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Maybe the lights comes on for a healthy Corey Brown? You have to give him a shot.

  15. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Anyone know what the Rays actually want?

  16. baseballswami - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    So many posts – so little time…

  17. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Looks like Rizzo is striking out at the GM meetings. Next will be some dumpster dipping after the holidays. If the Marlins sign Pujols, which is looking more likely, the Nationals will have a lock on 4th place in the NL East for the next few years.

  18. The Dude Abides - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Would somebody please inform Anon @ 3:47 that Crisp is a switch hitter? Please?

  19. Wally West - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    For those who see Crisp as a good match, he has already indicated he doesn't want to play on the East Coast. Washington is on the East Coast.

  20. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Nats shopping Bernadina…WHAT?!

  21. Steveospeak - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    I wouldn't give the Rays Norris or any other top 10 prospect for Upton. He's going to be pricey through Arb. and only under control for one year. While the Nats can contend this year, it is 2013 and beyond that are the most important to this team. Years when Harper is significantly involved and hopefully Rendon as well.I'd move on to some 2nd tier targets with upside if Bourjos is off the market.

  22. Theophilus - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Still think Schumaker is available.Or some other team's Triple-A CF. If somebody had a good AAA CF to trade for a good Nats pitching prospect (Solis? Ray?) it would be a good deal. The point is to not trade position players. If the guy you get back is a jerk or a wash-out, you've hurt yourself someplace without getting anything in return. Trading some of the Nats' surplus starting pitching (i.e., Lannan) or some of the minor league arms won't hurt either the short or the long term. At least equally important, don't over-buy. By all reports there is an abundance of CFs available from the farm system for delivery in 2014. So, they're only buying for two years. Hence, Schumaker.

  23. UnkleWheez - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    What about Trout, could he be availability.

  24. Nats1924 - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    These three for Upton…- Detwiler- Norris and/or Flores- LombardozziThis should be sufficient enough

  25. Sam Kirby - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    What about Aoki?

  26. Jeeves - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    I'd be happy if the Nats stayed with status quo. Get a good bench and another solid reliever and go for it. O.K., I said status quo, but I'm sure you know what I mean.An outfield of Morse, Werth, and Harper (yeah, I'm one of those who think the kid could produce immediately at the major league level) would be ,maybe, the best in the NL. Sure, a bit lacking defensively, but not as bad as many think. And the infield and catching would be above average.If healthy, the Nats will be in the playoffs.

  27. Tcostant - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    UnkleWheez said… What about Trout, could he be availability.—————–I hope your kidding? Trout and Harper have been ranked the #1 and #2 prospects in all of major league baseball the last year or so. Some have Trout at #1. So would the Nationals trade Harper? Of course not. Same goes for thr Angels, Trout is available!

  28. NatsTime - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Nats1924, no way. You are nuts. Cutter Dykstra is to much

  29. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    what about a trade for Ichiro?? The Mariners are always looking to cut payroll …

  30. sjm308 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Put me in with Jeeves as staying put. Worst move Rizzo made was announcing what he was going for. This gets all the glass half empty guys and anons screaming about what a failure he is. We have gone from 59 wins to 80 in two years. We will continue to improve and if we can get a decent bench (and compared to last year, almost any bench will be an improvement), we will be at 85-90 wins which will contend. Everyone is talking about Harper but I might be just as excited about Rendon this spring. I realize ST pitching is not major leagues but if he hits like he did in college it won't be long before he is up as well. We are going to be good people, CF or no, #3 pitcher or no. Bench of Bernadina, Ankiel, Lombardozzi, Flores and one more infielder (Moore, maybe Marrero surprises and heals quick) should be enough.go Nats!!

  31. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Jeeves — I would agree with all of that, but for the fact that the club has no one to lead-off. Desmond's body of work in the Bigs is pretty damning (notwithstanding his nice second half in 2011) — he's not the guy for the job. About 250 K's against something like 65 BB's in 1,100+ big league AB's, with little power to show for all of that hacking. Rizzo has to do better than Ian at lead-off.dfh21

  32. Just sayin' - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    At this point it seems that we're just throwing random names into the discussion. Just hopin' that Rizzo and company are treating this exercise a bit more systematically.

  33. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    The Nats went from 69 wins to 80 in two years (59 was 2009). But it means nothing. The Nats won't win 85 games because they won 80 last year; there is no value in your prior record.

  34. bgerstein - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Let's trade for Coco Crisp.

  35. gonatsgo - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    NL East looking scary. But – the Nats have got some game, too! Things are not written in stone yet, there is a long way to go before opening day (sadly) and a lot of dealing yet to go. People get traded, injured,etc. Maybe all of the guys who transfer will react the way Adam Dunn did! (or Jayson Werth, whatever). Good thing we actually have to play all of the games on the field and not on paper. Things are looking verrrrry interrrresting, though.

  36. lesatcsc - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    I have a question. If Rizzo had a choice, which move would he make first? Which move would enable the next move most significantly? For example, would acquiring Prince Feilder, or perhaps more realistically BJ Upton, make acquiring Buerhle easier? Or is it the other way around? Last year Grienke didn't want to come to DC because he didn't feel they were as ready to compete as Milwaukee. Surely attitudes towards the Nats must have changed a bit, but they are still a sub-500 team with a couple obvious holes. So if you go out and get the big bat, does that make it easier to get the pitcher you want, or does getting the pitcher make obtaining the bat easier? Or does it matter?

  37. Sactown - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Although it'll never happen, I'd be fascinated to see a straight trade of Harper for Trout.Then get rid of LaRoche, move Morris to 1B, and put one of Rendon/Zimmerman/Desmond/Espinosa in the OF and construct the IF accordingly. Also, why not LaRoche for Upton? 1 year left for both and TB needs a 1b. And if Upton might not be offered arbitration, shouldn't this work for TB? If health is a concern, just call LaRoche a PTBNL until spring training and make Tyler Moore + a reliever the fallback offer.

  38. Unkyd - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    "These three for Upton…- Detwiler- Norris and/or Flores- LombardozziThis should be sufficient enough"——————-this just looks sillier, every time I see it… 3 legitimate prospects, for a smooth fielding head-case, with ho hum batting skills, who 50-50 you can have for free, next week? Just stop it!December 6, 2011 4:36 PM

  39. Joe Seamhead - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    I think some of you are obviously smoking crack, and some of your mothers had to have fallen down the steps in the second trimester. Such as:Nats1924 said…These three for Upton…- Detwiler- Norris and/or Flores- LombardozziThis should be sufficient enough———————————————————– I hate to dis anybody's opinion, but I wound't give any one of those guys for BJ Upton.______________________________________________________________________ Or:Anonymous said…Looks like Rizzo is striking out at the GM meetings. Next will be some dumpster dipping after the holidays. If the Marlins sign Pujols, which is looking more likely, the Nationals will have a lock on 4th place in the NL East for the next few years.December 6, 2011 3:58 PM————————————————————–My man, I hear there's a place for you in the upper deck at Camden Yards. 4th place? Poppycock, I say!GYFNG!!!

  40. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:51 AM

    Yes it's dumpster diving again. Way to announce we needed a center fielder and lead off hitter. Now we pay through the nose for Upton. The Rays are kicking their heels because of the stupidity.

  41. joel - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Do the Rizzo bashers honestly think that other GM's didn't know we were in the market for a CF until Rizzo said it?Anyone with a moderate amount of baseball knowledge can look at our roster and see that we need someone who can play CF and someone who can lead-off, so it certainly wasn't a secret to other major league GM's. To imply that Rizzo somehow weakened his bargaining position by stating the obvious is grapsing for straws.

  42. Unkyd - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    Kicing their heels? Why? Are they idiot enough to believe Riz is gonna give up more than a prospect, to take their problem off their hands?

  43. FredD - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    I just don't think this team can absorb Upton's strike outs and on-again/off again attitude. A starter and an improved bench would be fine. The Marlins they are paying for their cheap ways in the past. As for Pujols what's that contract going to look like 5 years down the road when the Marlins continue to draw poorly. And in terms of Karma Pujols will probably be relieved to leave the fish bowl of the best baseball town in America only to find he misses that energy in St. Louis very quickly.Me I'm concerned that the Nats be ready for the no more excuses year of 2014

  44. BinM - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Anon@7:51 – The Nationals lack of a true CF has been evident since 2005. Having Rizzo come out & say it suprised no-one who has paid attention to history. The question will be, does he go with another stop-gap (Werth/Bernadina internally, or ??? externally) while waiting for one of the youngsters (Perez / Goodwin / Brown / Taylor) to step up? Or does he go for an outside solution (Bourjos / BJ Upton / Cespedes, et al) to solve the long-term problem now & turn the others into inventory? At this point, who knows what's going to transpire in the coming months. We can only watch the twists & turns of the market until Spring Training.

  45. sjm308 - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    I am not upset he stated the obvious, I am just upset he made it public so the neganons can jump in and bash him if nothing gets done.My thoughts on jumping to 85+ wins isn't just because there is a new calendar year. We have stronger starting pitching, our kids have grown another year, hopefully both R Zimm and LaRoche will be healthy for a full year etc. etc

  46. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Or maybe it's because they're not in Kansas. Oh, wait. That would be clicking. Never mind…Anon @ 7:51 said:The Rays are kicking their heels because of the stupidity. December 6, 2011 7:51 PM

  47. Mike - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Pagan was traded so he's out. I think Werth in center and take a flyer on a veteran till mid season when Harper will be ready

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