JUNKIES: What will the Nats do about the infield?

Ben Krimmel
January 09, 2020 - 4:07 pm

For Washington Nationals fans 2020 will bring a new reality: Anthony Rendon is not walking through that door.

But the World Series champs have still made some moves in the infield: GM Mike Rizzo and company worked quickly to re-sign Howie Kendrick before added Starlin Castro and Eric Thames and retaining Asdrubal Cabrera. And there is still the potential of adding more, including re-signing veteran Ryan Zimmerman.

However, the infield is still missing a person to take command of the hot corner.

The Sports Junkies asked The Washington Post's Jesse Dougherty does this mean they are out of the Josh Donaldson sweepstakes and if a trade for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant? Who will play third base?

"There is a really good chance," Castro plays third base, Dougherty said Thursday, adding reports stating he will play second base could be premature.

Of course, the long-term solution to the position could be in-house in the form of Carter Kieboom, though the Nationals may want to start the 22-year-old in the minors to maintain an extra year of team control.

"From a baseball standpoint, being competitive right away," Dougherty said. "If Carter comes out really well and is taking the next step you want him starting at third base every day."

Now, the big question on Nationals' fans lips: If they don't make any other moves (or at least any other big-time moves) is the 2020 lineup worse than the 2019 lineup?

"Yes," Dougherty said. 

Significantly?

"Yeah, by a pretty good margin."

The concern? Regression to the mean for a 35-year-old Kendrick, whether Castro can reach the same heights from 2020, and whether Thames can still hit as many home runs. 

Of course, on the other side, Trea Turner and Victor Robles could both take a step and who knows how good Juan Soto

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Listen to the full conversation between Jesse Dougherty and The Junkies here:

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