If the Washington Nationals can't find a second baseman on the free agent or trade markets this winter, they remain open to the possibility of using a platoon at second base or pursuing a third baseman and shifting Anthony Rendon back over to second.
"We keep all our options open," Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters last weekend when asked about a potential second base platoon. "We certainly consider anything if it's a benefit to the ballclub."
Rizzo said moving Rendon back to second was a consideration as well.
"Anthony [Rendon's] athletic ability and defensive prowess at both positions gives us a unique opportunity to go for a third baseman and move Anthony to second base if we see that that is the upgrade we want to make," Rizzo said.
Kevin Frandsen, who really seemed to be enjoying NatsFets, threw his name in the hat too if the Nats can't find a new second baseman.
"He's a guy that's on the club and he has experience at second base," Rizzo said when asked about that option.
Nationals' manager Matt Williams had a question for reporters when he was asked about Frandsen possibly being the answer. Who's idea was it?
"He said that?" Williams asked. "He's having fun today, isn't he? I'm sure at some point during the season Franny will play second base."
"Did he put you up to that?" Williams asked the reporter who asked the question.
Anthony Rendon told reporters if he has to move back over to second, he'd be fine with it.
"I feel like I feel more comfortable at third base," Rendon admitted. "But I really have no preference. As long as I have a bat in my hand, I'll feel the most comfortable there."
There was no news about the Nationals' search for an infielder on Tuesday, but their name did come up again in a discussion about the rumored deal the Seattle Mariners are working on...
• "I'm told the addition is unlikely to be Dayan Viciedo or Justin Upton, but one industry insider says that Ian Desmond may be the name to watch." - "Cutting through the rumors: What we actually know about Rollins, Kemp, Myers deals" - Chris Cotillo, MLB Daily Dish
• "Washington doesn't have the need yet, but they've got a slew of talented players hitting free agency next offseason. Among them is starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann." - "MLB Hot Stove 2014-15: Still too soon to believe the New York Yankees won't pursue Max Scherzer" - Ben Shapiro, masslive.com
• "The Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann has been linked to the Red Sox, but he's another player with an expiring contract..." - "Boston Red Sox payroll projections for 2015: One more starter (James Shields?) couldn't hurt" - Jason Mastrodonato, masslive.com
Nationals' search for a Spring Training home:
• "County commissioners voted 5-2 Tuesday to seek negotiations with West Palm Beach about a possible land swap to get 160 acres the city owns south of 45th Street for a new spring training complex..." - "Palm Beach County seeks baseball trade, for land, with West Palm; may be too late" - Joe Capozzi, www.palmbeachpost.com
• "Palm Beach County is adding land to sweeten a $135 million stadium sales pitch aimed at landing two more spring training baseball teams." - "Palm Beach County agrees to negotiate stadium deal land swap" - Andy Reid, Florida Sun-Sentinel
• "Palm Beach County voted Tuesday to continue negotiations and potentially make an unsolicited offer to the city of West Palm Beach for a land swap that could give the Nationals and Astros the needed site for a two-team spring training facility." - "Palm Beach County okays negotiations for land swap for Astros-Nationals spring training site" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
Palm Beach County okays negotiations for land swap with West Palm Beach for Astros-Nationals spring training site http://t.co/cxD0Macqce— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) December 16, 2014
Topic: Bryce Harper's 2-year deal:
• "The two sides reached an agreement late Sunday night to avoid a grievance hearing that was set for this week." - "VIDEO: Explaining Bryce Harper’s contract settlement with the Nats" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
Topic: Jordan Zimmermann chatter:
• "Sign Desmond, who’s very hard to replace and excellent in the clubhouse, and Fister, who’ll be expensive but is also a big chemistry piece. Let Z’mann play out his season..." - "Thomas Boswell on Bryce Harper and the Nats’ offseason" - The Washington Post
Excerpts from my Monday chat re Bryce Harper and the Nationals off-season. http://t.co/QVosqL1SLc— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) December 16, 2014
• "The big post-winter meetings rumor reveal involved the Mariners and the Nationals, and it told us much of where the Nationals believe they stand." - "Say hey, baseball: Will the Nationals trade Jordan Zimmermann?" - Marc Normandin, SBNation.com
What would a Jordan Zimmermann trade cost the Red Sox? http://t.co/vdjjo1OQmo— Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) December 16, 2014
• "After last season’s breakout, capped by a stunning no-hitter on the final day of the regular season, 'fair value' for Zimmermann would likely be substantial." - "Jordan Zimmermann says meeting with Nationals went ‘well’ but a ‘lot of talking’ to go before extension" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
The other Zimmerman:
• "Quantifying Adam LaRoche's importance to the Nationals over his four-year stint isn't difficult." - "Nationals Pastime: More on Zimmerman's transition to first (pitchers, catchers report Feb. 19)" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com
• "An adjustment is under way for the 30-year-old Zimmerman. The plan is for him to play first base next season following Adam LaRoche’s departure." - "Transition to first base part of the next step for Ryan Zimmerman" - Todd Dybas, Washington Times
Hey! Look at Detwiler. Look at him go...:
• "Detwiler. Always like a left-hander who has a plus-90 fastball. Those guys always have a chance." - "Why Ross Detwiler is Rangers' best offseason acquisition so far" - Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning News
Elvis Andrus (@ElvisandrusSS1) December 16, 2014
• "I’ve always viewed my self as a starter even when I was throwing out of the pen. I was never completely comfortable." - Ross Detwiler -"Detwiler thrilled to be a Rangers’ rotation option" - Stefan Stevenson, The Star Telegram
• "Several Nats players reacted to the departure of their friends and teammates at this past weekend’s NatsFest. Here are the highlights of what they said…" - "Nats react to Detwiler and LaRoche leaving this offseason" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
Desmond talks to Zuckerman:
• "Ian Desmond went one-on-one with Mark at this past weekend’s Nats Fest to talk about his offseason so far." - "VIDEO: Ian Desmond 1-on-1 with Mark Zuckerman at Nats Fest" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
Are you A.J. Cole-obsessed like us?:
• "This shapes up to be a big season for right-hander A.J. Cole, who continues to excel in the Nationals minor league system and climb the ladder with outstanding pitching." - "Baseball Prospectus No. 2 Nats prospect: A.J. Cole" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
Hey! A Gio Gonzalez story!:
• "Gonzalez’s overall numbers (a 3.57 ERA, 24.8 K%, 8.6 BB%, and 1.20 WHIP) weren’t too shabby. His ERA was notably worse than his FIP for the first time since 2009, though." - "Gio Gonzalez Throws Curve with Change?" - Nicholas Minnix, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
RotoGraphs: Gio Gonzalez Throws Curve with Change? http://t.co/h3Sia0UbWJ— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) December 16, 2014
NL EAST UPDATES: Now we'll never stop hearing about Morse; Phily prospects; Teheran:
• Braves: "Julio Teheran followed up his breakout 2013 season with a 2014 campaign that was in many ways superior..." - "Julio Teheran, Shah of Atlanta" - Karl de Vries, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
RotoGraphs: Julio Teheran, Shah of Atlanta http://t.co/AR9wrGjF5j— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) December 16, 2014
• Mets: "After being traded to the Washington Nationals last season, Cabrera saw the bulk of his playing time at second base." - "Mets free agency: Realistic shortstop options for the 2015 season" - Dalton Johnson, Amazin' Avenue
• Marlins: "Mike Morse, once a star baseball player at Nova High School, is coming home — to the Marlins." - "Marlins stay local, add Broward County product Morse on two-year deal" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Florida Sun-Sentinel
2014 wRC+: Adam LaRoche: 127 Michael Morse: 133 Billy Butler: 97 Kendrys Morales: 72— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) December 17, 2014
• "Morse, who turns 33 in March, can play first base or the outfield. In 2014, he started 82 games in left field, committing two errors..." - "First baseman Michael Morse agrees to deal with Miami Marlins" - Christina De Nicola, FOX Sports