We wrote early on in the off-season that versatility and flexibility would allow Mike Rizzo to move in many different directions this off-season for an acquisition.
Players like Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, and even Daniel Murphy who can play second base and first base gives Mike Rizzo the ability to look to improve the club with a number of players this season. There have even been whispers of the former catcher Jayson Werth getting a 1st baseman’s glove. The player you would least like to move is Anthony Rendon who was a Gold Glove finalist at third base. Rendon showed he can play a good second base also.
How many ball clubs boast these types of positional advantages? Few. Last off-season Rizzo wanted Ben Zobrist who was the master of positional flexibility and now Rizzo has Trea Turner who can play both infield and outfield.
Versatility and flexibility allows the Nationals to look at corner outfielders and shortstops, and really almost any position to improve this team with one positional player.
Ken Rosenthal at the 2:30 mark on the video asked Mike Rizzo about the team’s priorities which we covered yesterday, and Rizzo goes into some details. The answer was long and flexibility was mentioned as an obvious asset and an advantage.
“We think we have a very good team as we stand today,” Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo said.“We’re certainly not a perfect team. We have for really one of the first times in a lot of off-seasons that we have a lot of positional flexibility. We’ve got our rookie Trea Turner who can play centerfield, second base, shortstop. We’ve got Bryce Harper is becoming a Gold Glove-calibre rightfielder, can also play centerfield. So we’ve got a lot of moving parts which gives us a lot of flexibility in acquiring players to impact our ball club. We’ve got a lot of moving parts which gives us a lot of flexibility in acquiring players to impact our ball club. There are a lot of different roads you can go.”
“There are a lot of different roads you can go. There are payroll implications, there is budgeting, there is, ‘What is your depth in the Minor Leagues?’ ‘What do your replacement players look like that you can replace these starters with and what gives you the best bang for your buck and the most impact to your ball club.’ ”
This is a good glimpse into Rizzo’s thinking as to how the Nationals will approach this. Rizzo mentions payroll implications but does not mention what the payroll ceiling is. Expect the unexpected with Mike Rizzo as he could surprise us this year with a player not linked to the Nats like Justin Turner or make a trade for Miguel Cabrera or create a position for Jonathan Villar or Yoenis Cespedes.
All options are on the whiteboard.