In advance of the start of the Washington Nationals' three-game game with the New York Mets in Citi Field, we talked to the SB Nation's Mets site, Amazin' Avenue, to share some info about the Nats. Here's one question and answer and there's a link to the full post below:
Amazin' Avenue: What's going on with this outfield in the future? Bryce Harper, Denard Span, and Jayson Werth seemed like a solid unit heading into the season, but now Steven Souza has surged into the majors. Even though he got hurt, Michael Taylor (who might even be more talented) is up to replace him. What does the outfield look like by Opening Day 2015?
Federal Baseball: This is one of two big roster questions the Nationals will have to answer this winter along with what they're going to do at first base with Adam LaRoche headed for free agency again and Ryan Zimmerman seemingly in need of a new position.
As for the outfield, when the Nationals acquired Denard Span from the Twins, Nats' GM Mike Rizzo talked about him as a bridge to the next generation of center fielders coming up. Michael Taylor jumped ahead of 2011 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin on the depth chart in the last year, but Taylor is just 23 and didn't play above A-ball until this year when he really took off at Double-A, moved to Triple-A last week and then got the call when Souza ran into the right field wall in Atlanta this week.
I have a hard time imagining that the Nationals, who are in a window of contention now, are going to hand the center field job to Taylor next season.
There is a $9M club option in the 5-year/$16.5M extension Span signed with Minnesota in 2010. Picking up that option and bringing Span back, the way he's playing now, seems like a logical move to give Taylor some time at Triple-A to continue his development.
I think that's the only question in the outfield, Harper and Werth are locked for the near-future. If they think Souza, who's crushed Triple-A pitching, can work in a bench role, he makes sense as a backup outfielder who can fill in on a regular basis and allow Werth/Span to get some rest. Opening Day 2015: Harper, Span and Werth starting with McLouth, Taylor, Souza in the mix.
Here's a link to the full Q&A with Amazin Avenue:
Series Preview with Federal Baseball's Patrick Reddington http://t.co/MuCW7SCC6o— Eric Simon (@AmazinAvenue) August 12, 2014
• Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting daily $18,000 Fantasy Baseball leagues. It costs $2 to join and the first-place prize is $2,000. Click here for details.