It appears that a pair of clubs continue to keep tabs on the trade market for potential solutions in center field. According to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post, the Washington Nationals are continuing their search for a center fielder. Also, with Grady Sizemore’s back injury, the Cleveland Indians have said they will be eyeing the market for potential alternatives.
The Nationals have not tried to hide the fact that they are targeting a young and toolsy center fielder. They have recently been tied to players such as B.J. Upton, Peter Bourjos and Gerardo Parra, and general manager Mike Rizzo told Kilgore that the club still isn’t ruling out a potential acquisition.
While Rizzo and the Nationals would be open to adding a center fielder, said player would have to be more than simply a stopgap option. Rizzo noted that if he thinks he can answer the Nationals “long-term question” in center now, he won’t hesitate to do so. However, the GM also said that he’s not interested in making a change “for a short-term” solution.
Washington could go several different directions in center this season, and there are multiple potential acquisitions on the horizon. Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn and Upton are all set to hit the free agent market next offseason if they don’t reach an agreement with their current clubs. Beyond that, Kilgore notes that the Nationals are discussing trade candidates Adam Jones, Bourjos and Parra internally.
The Indians likely won’t be searching for as long-term a solution in center, as they are still hoping to get Sizemore back this season. Still, if the Tribe could add a stopgap player that can handle the position for the first part of the year, it would allow them to avoid moving Michael Brantley over from his regular position of left field.