Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked to reporters on Wednesday about the Nats' search for a left-handed bat in the aftermath of the failed pursuit of utility man Ben Zobrist, who signed with the Chicago Cubs this week, spurning the Nationals and other teams who reportedly offered the veteran infielder/outfielder more overall money.
So, Rizzo was asked, what would the Nationals do now if they were indeed still looking for a left-handed bat?
"There are different avenues," he said. "The trade avenue that we've looked hard into and also there are several free agent options out there too. So we're looking to improves ourselves any way we can."
The Nationals want to get more left-handed, to balance out their lineup, but it wasn't a necessity, Rizzo explained, that an acquisition was a left-handed bat.
"In a perfect world, the lefty bat is important," he said.
"But we want to improve our club and the balance in the lineup is an aspect, but it's not something that's the end-all and be-all.
"We'd like to be more balanced, but if we have a quality player that improves our lineup and improves our club, then we certainly are going to look at all aspects of it."
But if they could add a left-handed bat... and a plus defender in the outfield? And one who is young and controllable...
That's right. It's just in the rumor stage right now, but CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman is writing tonight that the Nats are reportedly in the mix for free agent outfielder Jason Heyward! Say what? Heyman said it:
Nats are in on jason heyward. Mystery team has been solved. Washington joins cubs, cards in JH derby.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2015
Heyward could play CF in Washington. Hard to see them moving bryce to CF. JH could also spell jayson Werth a bit in LF.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2015
Hear, too, that heyward is said to have a $200M offer. More likely to be from nats or cards than cubs. Could be 4th team tho.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2015
The Nationals shocked the baseball world last winter with their 7-year/$210M deal for Max Scehrzer. Can they do it again this winter and get one of the most highly sought-after bats on the market?
Heyward, 26, finished his sixth major league season, and his first with the St. Louis Cardinals who acquired him from the Atlanta Braves, with a .293/.359/.439 line, 33 doubles and 13 home runs in 154 games and 610 PAs over which he was worth 6.0 fWAR.
A Jayson Werth, Jason Heyward, Bryce Harper outfield with Michael A. Taylor as a backup in center and left field?
Can Rizzo and Co. do it again?