12/11/12 2:16 PM ET
Inbox: Was trading for Span the right move?
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nats fans' questions
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
-- Alex C., Montreal
I thought the Nationals did the right thing by trading for Span. Besides having an affordable contract, Span's best years are ahead of him, which means he will hit for a high average and score a lot of runs.
Why are the Nats thinking about getting rid of a 30-homer, 100-RBI guy in Adam LaRoche?
-- Max B., Santa Fe, N.M.
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The Nats are not trying to get rid of LaRoche. They want him back. They just want to give him a two-year deal, but nothing more than that. They are not willing to give him an option for a third year. We'll see how this plays out in the next couple of days.
Who will be the Nats' second baseman in 2013 -- Danny Espinosa or Steve Lombardozzi?
-- Josh L., Montclair, Va.
No doubt, it's going to be Espinosa. Manager Davey Johnson believes in Espinosa the way he believed in Ian Desmond this past season. I think it will pay dividends. Espinosa will be the first to tell you that he needs to improve from the left side of the plate, and he will. I'm predicting an All-Star appearance and a Gold Glove for him in 2013.
What does the Span trade mean for the future of Tyler Moore? Moore has good pop and belongs in the everyday lineup.
-- Josh, Montclair, Va.
That's a great question. Moore will come off the bench this year, fill in for Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth in the corner outfield spots and occasionally play first base. I agree with you: Moore deserves a chance to become an everyday player. Considering he didn't play every day last year, I felt he put up some good numbers.
Who will be the Nationals' starting catcher on Opening Day?
-- Henry L., Mclean, Va.
It will be Kurt Suzuki. The team plans to take it slow with Wilson Ramos, who is recovering from a knee injury. If Ramos is not ready to play by Opening Day, Sandy Leon or Jhonatan Solano will be given a chance to become the backup catcher.
Do you think Michael Morse is a defensive liability in the outfield? If LaRoche signs with the Nats, what impact will that have on Morse?
-- Tom L., Santiago, Chile
No, I do not think Morse is a liability in the outfield. However, I felt he was not 100 percent healthy while playing the outfield in 2012. I felt something was wrong with his legs, because the Cardinals were taking the extra base every time they hit the ball in his direction during the National League Division Series.
If the Nats re-sign LaRoche, Morse will be traded -- most likely for prospects. If they don't sign LaRoche, Morse will be the everyday first baseman. It will also likely be Morse's last year with the team, because he will be a free agent after the 2013 season. I don't see him getting an extension.
What will the Nats do with Chien-Ming Wang?
-- Cooper A., S.C.
He is a free agent and he will not be back with the Nationals. A person familiar with Wang believes he will play in the World Baseball Classic and not sign with a big league team until midseason.