What makes you think LaRoche will accept his side of the mutual option? Everything I’m hearing is exactly the opposite- the Nats will exercise and he will decline since he can certainly get a better deal in free agent market
LaRoche is NOT going to accept his option and the Nationals know that. They are currently in negotiations–well, at least discussions–that should bring him back for 2-3 more years.
I think you’re being a little hard on Morse’s production though you do acknowledge his injuries.
Based upon playing 153 games (typical for a full season less a few off days) he would have hit .291-27-93. Take away his injuries and most would say that was very similar to his breakout 2011 season.
Rizzo has made it clear that Zimmerman is his long-term third baseman. His defense is better than David Wright’s. Only his throwing has been a problem and he will be having shoulder surgery to correct his throwing problems this off-season.
Rendon is likely to become the Nationals next second baseman (2014?) if Espinosa doesn’t figure it out. That said, he is one of the finest fielding second baseman in the NL, has good power and speed, and you need just to look across the bag to see what happens when a player “figures it out.”
Many of us Nationals’ fans wanted to trade Desmond last winter, move Espinosa to short (his natural position) and let Stephen Lombardozzi have second.
All Desmond did was make the All Star team this year.
I think Espinosa can figure it out, and then would be valuable as a trade piece next off season, giving second to Rendon, someone capable of hitting .310-25-100 at second.
Without question, the top of the 9th against the Cardinals was painful, but everyone is returning next season (except Edwin Jackson probably) and the minor leagues has 5-6 top-flight players ready to join the team by 2014 or early 2015.
Don’t feel bad for the Nationals. They should be contenders for the next half-decade at least.
LaRoche wants to continue to play for DC, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they decided to offer him a 2/20 – 2/25 contract to keep him there. Unless they’re willing to take on the craziness of Hamilton, no CF free agent or trade candidate will come close to the kind of production that LaRoche is capable of.
Comment by Stuck in a slump — October 16, 2012 @ 5:35 pm
If the Nats bring back LaRoche isn’t that going to hurt the defense? Seems I keep reading that they want to move Morse back to 1B, move Harper to the corner and get a defensive CF that could possibly lead off (Bourn). I thought Morse was a 1B masquerading as a LF?