NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As the first official day at the annual Winter Meetings turns into evening without any blockbuster signings or deals going down just yet, here are a few picked up pieces from the hotel lobby floor…
– The Nationals have fielded a lot of calls on outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse, who would be without a clear starting position if the Nationals re-signed first baseman Adam LaRoche. But general manager Mike Rizzo said the team has not made one phone call to shop him.
“He’s drawn interest,” Rizzo said. “You can see why. He’s a middle-of-the-lineup hitter who puts up big numbers and hits for average and for power.”
The Nationals didn’t appear to be down the road on anything in the late afternoon on Monday. While it seems much of any potential Morse deal would be hinged on the Nationals indeed re-signing LaRoche, Rizzo said that might not necessarily be the case.
“If the right offer for any player came up we would certainly act on it,” Rizzo said. “Because we have such depth at that position, it reinforces the fact that if we get a deal that we like, for anybody, not specifying Mike Morse, but for anybody (we’d act on it).”
– The buzz around the lobby was that the Dodgers, as expected, remain the favorites for free agent right-hander Zack Greinke. The Nationals are interested in Greinke (who isn’t, really) but they seem to be balking at his price tag. They’re interested him, but most likely not for $150 million, and the consensus seems to be that it’ll be tough for any team to compete with the Dodgers financially.
– The Nationals search for a starting pitcher, however, is essentially unlimited. Rizzo said the team is simply looking for “the most impactful guy that we can get.”
“There’s plenty of pitchers that are available that’ll help us and that’ll improve us,” Rizzo said. “We’re looking at all the avenues and trying to decide which the best fit is for us.”
That means the Nationals will certainly consider either a trade or a fee agent signing so they’re open to all their options. Earlier today, there was some rumbling about a potential deal with the Tampa Bay Rays around one of their starting pitchers — perhaps involving Morse and/or Danny Espinosa — but there doesn’t seem to be much traction on it at this current moment. Those things are fluid and they can change fairly quickly.
– Outfielder Roger Bernadina is the first Nationals player to commit to playing in the World Baseball Classic. Bernadina will play for the Netherlands in the world tournament that’ll take place in March.