Inbox: Is Lannan in Nats' plans for next year?
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers questions from fans
Do Ross Detwiler or Tommy Milone have a chance to beat out John Lannan for a rotation spot?
-- Ryan K., Carlisle, Pa.
Lannan is expected to be in the rotation in 2011. However, I wouldn't put it past GM Mike Rizzo if he traded Lannan to get that center fielder he is looking for.
But as of now, Detwiler, Milone and Brad Peacock will battle for the final spot in the rotation unless a trade is made.
What is your opinion on center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, and do you think Rizzo will go hard after him?
-- Joe C., Vienna, Va.
I have never seen Cespedes play. However, last week, I spoke to an opposing scout who felt that Cespedes is not as big league ready as reports have indicated. The scout believes Cespedes will have problems hitting breaking balls and should start his professional career in Double-A. Based on published reports, it appears that the Nationals are trying hard to acquire Cespedes' services. I hope to know more once the Winter Meetings start in Dallas on Dec. 5.
Trying to acquire Roy Oswalt is lacking any real logic. Oswalt had a losing record last year. His balky back meant he had the fewest starts in his career. He will be a year older next season. It would be risky at best to acquire Oswalt. Why do it?
-- Jeff H., Washington
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I think it's worth the risk. If you look at Oswalt's record, it wasn't that bad. He had a respectable 3.69 ERA in 23 starts. I would give him a one-year deal, loaded with incentives. It's more than just winning games; The club is looking at Oswalt as a person who could teach the rest of the starting staff how to pitch 200 innings every year and win on a consistent basis.
Here is what Jayson Werth had to say about Oswalt recently: "Roy O. would be awesome to have as a veteran anchor in our pitching staff. He works fast, throws strikes and takes the ball every fifth day.
"[He] keeps a low profile in the clubhouse and has a businessman's attitude. He has lots of experience, including postseason, and that's important, especially since we plan on playing in October [next] year."
Do you think Coco Crisp could help the Nats? He is a free agent and I don't think he would cost a lot of money for even a two-year contract.
-- Bill P., Arlington, Va.
I don't see Crisp coming to the Nationals. Cespedes is probably the only free agent the Nationals will have interest in, as far as playing every day in center field. If Cespedes is not acquired, I see Rizzo making a trade for a center fielder. Before the non-waiver Trade Deadline this past season, the Nationals had interest in B.J. Upton of the Rays and Denard Span of the Twins.
Is Michael Cuddyer an option for the Nats? He's got a good bat and is good defensively. Would the Nats consider starting Werth in center and let Cuddyer take over in right?
-- Jon D., Poolesville, Md.
I don't see how Cuddyer is a fit. I see Bryce Harper playing right field before the Nationals consider acquiring a player like Cuddyer.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.