In writing about the rumors of the Washington Nationals' interest in adding a reliever like New York Yankees' left-hander Aroldis Chapman this morning, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal also mentioned that the Nationals, "... still could pursue a [Jay] Bruce or a [Josh] Reddick," if they attempt to add an outfielder to the mix in the nation's capital.
Rosenthal does, however, note that the Nationals, "... don't want to move Bryce Harper from right to center," if they do acquire a corner outfielder, so Trea Turner, who's dabbled in the outfield recently as the Nationals try to give manager Dusty Baker some options, "likely will become more of an option if the Nats do not acquire outside help."
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo, in an MLB Network Radio interview this weekend, once again discussed the Nationals' plans for Turner, the 23-year-old infielder who is currently on the major league roster, but has been up and down to Triple-A this season.
"I think he's going to get some time in the middle infield," Rizzo said, "giving guys rest, and I think that you may see him see what he can do in center field.
"He's never played it in the big leagues, obviously, but we're going to ease him in slowly there, because it's so tough to be a young rookie not only preparing to play offensively but to play defensively at a position you've never played and learning at the big league level is difficult, but if anybody can do it, he can do it, because he's an extreme athlete with a great skill set, so I feel confident wherever we play him he's going to have an impact on the game."
If the Nationals don't pursue any of the aforementioned outfielders, or use Turner in center, Rosenthal's colleague at FOXSports.com, Jon Morosi, threw out another possibility:
#Nats showing interest in #Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon, sources say. Nats 30th in leadoff OPS, 28th in CF OPS; Blackmon a good fit. @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2016
Blackmon, 30, has put up a .305/.368/.481 line with 16 doubles and 12 HRs in 79 games and 355 plate appearances this season, in his sixth major league campaign, with a .329/.393/.523 line six doubles and seven home runs in 168 PAs in Coors Field and a .284/.346/.444 line, 10 doubles and five home runs in 42 games and 187 PAs on the road this season.
The '08 Rockies' 2nd Round pick avoided arbitration when he agreed on a 1-year/$3.5M deal with the Rockies this winter, and he is under team control through 2018, so he'd be more than short-term rental for the Nationals or any other team that tries to acquire him this summer.
How would he fit into the Nationals' outfield? Would Michael A. Taylor head back down to Triple-A to get regular at bats until September with Ben Revere moving into a fourth outfielder role?
Blackmon's the majority of his games in center over the course of his career though he's played all three outfield positions.
The Nationals, with Revere, Taylor, Matt den Dekker and Chris Heisey all seeing time in center, have gotten less-than-impressive production out of the position with a combined .221/.274/.337 line out of their center fielders.
Nationals' leadoff men, have put up a combined .211/.256/.317 line this season.
Blackmon, who's led off for the Rockies in 75 of 79 games played and 352 of his 355 PAs this season, has put up a .305/.369/.483 line as a leadoff man with a .324/.360/.634 line as the first batter of the game.