Feb 15, 2012, 12:00 PM EST
US Presswire photo
Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel are among the Nationals' options in center field.
With pitchers and catchers due to report Sunday, we've reached the home stretch of the offseason. All week, we'll count down the five biggest storylines facing the Nationals at spring training. Today, it's storyline No. 3: Who will start in center fielder?…
Mike Rizzo entered this offseason with two clearly stated goals: 1) Add a frontline starting pitcher, and 2) Acquire a starting outfielder, preferably a leadoff-hitting center fielder.
The Nationals general manager had no trouble accomplishing that first goal; he wound up adding two big-time starters in Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson. Finding that starting outfielder, however, proved a more difficult task than Rizzo envisioned.
The free-agent market was underwhelming. The trade market never materialized. And though the Nationals scouted Yoenis Cespedes, ultimately they weren't convinced the Cuban defector was big-league ready or was worth the money he was likely to receive. (The Athletics signed Cespedes this week to a four-year, $36 million contract.)
So, barring an unforeseen and unlikely move in the next four days, the Nationals will report for spring training having failed to address one ofRead more »
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
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