It has been a quiet day at the Hilton Anatole here in Dallas. The Nationals held a four-hour staff meeting this morning with almost their entire contingent, discussing plans for the week and the offseason. The internal talks involved the same topics you already know the Nationals are focused on – starting pitching, center field and the bench.
In regard to the center field spot, “three or four” potential trade targets emerged, one team official said, including the Angels’ Peter Bourjos, a 24-year-old speedster, and familiar name B.J. Upton.
While they have a wish list, the Nationals are also realistic about what it would take acquire a talented, young player like Bourjos. Mike Rizzo has said a trade would be the “most logical” way to acquire the center fielder the Nationals are looking for. But they will also be patient, and they will be cautious not to undo the work they’ve done building their farm system.
“Mike didn’t panic in July” when the Nationals nearly traded for a center fielder, one Nationals official said. “And he’s not going to panic now.”
The Nationals will likely let trade proposals come to them and wait to see which players are non-tendered. It’s possible the Rays will non-tender Upton and/or the Mets will non-tender Angel Pagan. Either player would provide a solution until some of the Nationals’ minor league center field prospects – such as Michael Taylor, Brian Goodwin and Eury Perez – are ready to come to the majors.
Also, there were some whispers that the Nationals have cooled on Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, whom Rizzo scouted in person in the Dominican last week.
So there’s an overview of the center field situation for now. Rizzo will be speaking with media in a few moments, and we’ll have his comments later.