The Washington Nationals are coming off a season they expected to go much better than it did. As a result, the team is trying to make a splash in free agency to fill multiple holes on the field. With a focus on position players now with the offseason in full swing and the winter meetings over, the Nationals are beginning to pull off some trade deals that could better then team in the National League.
According to ESPN MLB Insider Jim Bowden, the Nationals are close to finalizing a deal with the Cincinnati Reds for second baseman Brandon Phillips. According to Bowden, Phillips is prepared to waive his no-trade clause in his contract and head to the Nationals in return for several minor league players. The deal has not been approved just yet as the two teams must work out the financial compensation for the trade, but at the moment Phillips appears to be headed to Washington.
The move to acquire Phillips comes after the team was reportedly showing serious interest in acquiring Daniel Murphy who remains a free agent. According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Nationals were looking at the infielder who would be a costly contract to take on while also costing Washington a first-round pick in 2016. However, he is much younger and a better player than Phillips. Washington as opted for the trade over the out-right contract.
The next move for the Nationals could be to get a center fielder. According to ESPN.com, bringing back Denard Span would be a no-brainer for the Nationals should he be healthy. According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Span is holding workouts for teams interested in acquiring him and the Nationals are expected to be one of the teams that shows up. The outfielder underwent hip surgery in September and is now trying to prove that he is healthy and ready to play again. Span would be a cost-effective option while having familiarity with the organization.
MassLive.com reports Dexter Fowler could be another favored option for Washington as he gains interest from multiple teams. The outfielder along with Alex Gordon and Justin Upton are beginning to see the market heat up around them with some of the big names signed. It is unclear just how big the Washington Nationals are looking to go in terms of contracts for an outfielder. Upton and Gordon would be much more expensive from someone like Span or Fowler.