Rosenthal On Nationals: Howie Kendrick? Adam LaRoche Trade Talk? Matt Williams As Manager?

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal dropped no less than three mentions of the Washington Nationals into his latest "Full Count" video and three is the magic number to get you a few hundred words worth of consideration and a link to your speculative reporting.

FOXSports.com's bow-tied reporter Ken Rosenthal has previously reported that the LA teams, the Angels and Dodgers, came close to a trade at this past July's Non-Waiver Trade Deadline that would have sent Angels' infielder Howie Kendrick over to Chavez Ravine in return for a package that featured right-hander Zach Lee, one of the Dodgers' top pitching prospects.

The rumored deal never transpired, but as Mr. Rosenthal reports now in a "Full Count" video released this afternoon, the Angels are still considering trading the 30-year-old Kendrick, predominantly a second baseball who has played first and the outfield and put together a .301/.341/.437 line with 16 doubles and 11 HRs in 108 games and 451 plate appearances this season.

"Adam LaRoche almost certainly will be one [option], as the Nationals prepare to move Ryan Zimmerman to first base and play Anthony Rendon at third." - Ken Rosenthal on the idea of trading Adam LaRoche

"We've got nearly a month to go in the regular season," Mr. Rosenthal says, "and yet the Angels are already scouting pitchers that they could pursue in free agency and trades." The FOXSports.com reporter then mentions the rumored deal between the two Los Angeles teams before adding that, "... they could pursue similar deals with teams deep in young starters. The Mets are one. The Nationals another." Deep in young starters? Who's the Nats' Zach Lee? A.J. Cole? Not again!! Reacquiring him again might be tough...

A second baseman though? How would the Nationals make room for a second baseman? By trading Adam LaRoche maybe? So the Nats can move Ryan Zimmerman to first?


Mr. Rosenthal does not make a direction connection, but he says that the free agent market for first baseman will be thin this winter, as will the trade market, though there are some options there according to the reporter. One player he sees as being available in a trade is the Nationals' 2012 Gold Glove winning first baseman, Adam LaRoche, who has failed to reproduce his career-best campaign in 2013 in the first year of the two-year deal he signed last winter.

"I've heard a lot of the Matt Williams stuff, because of Mike [Rizzo's] history with him and he's someone who has a lot of stature." - ESPN's Buster Olney to Federal Baseball

"Adam LaRoche almost certainly will be one [option]," Rosenthal says, "as the Nationals prepare to move Ryan Zimmerman to first base and play Anthony Rendon at third."

So? The Nationals deal LaRoche, acquire Kendrick to play second base, move Zim to first and Rendon back to the position he was drafted at out of Rice. Nats' GM Mike Rizzo did say Rendon was a Gold Glove-caliber defender at third on the night of the 2011 Draft? And once Rizzo does all that he can move on to the bench. Both the players, and the next manager... done and done.

And speaking of the next Nats' manager... ESPN.com's Buster Olney said in an interview last week that the name he was hearing mentioned as a candidate for Davey Johnson's successor was that of current Arizona Diamondbacks' third base coach Matt Williams. "I've heard a lot of the Matt Williams stuff, because of Mike [Rizzo's] history with him and he's someone who has a lot of stature," Mr. Olney said. FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal said today that some D-Backs' players are worried about Williams' potential departure.

"A number of Diamondbacks' players are frustrated with [manager] Kirk Gibson's changing lineups," Mr. Rosenthal says. "Those players feel that they relate best to third base coach Matt Williams, but Williams could leave to manage Washington or another club after the season is over." Arizona, Mr. Rosenthal says, has "no plans" to replace Gibson with Williams, "or anyone else," so will Williams seek a managing gig elsewhere?

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