Who's On Second For The Nats: Market Is Open With Possibilities

Dwight Townsend-GrayContributor INovember 16, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 21:  Orlando Hudson #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers connects for a home run in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Who will be playing second base for the Washington Nationals?

There are more options then people think. Let's start with free agents. Mark DeRosa(who've they have exspressed interest in), Orlando Hudson, Ronnie Belliard (unlikely to return), and Placido Polanco are all on the free agent market

As for in-house canidates, Cristian Guzman, Alberto Gonzales, Willie Harris all played with Washington last season.

There are also a few people on the market. The word is the Marlins would be willing to trade Dan Uggla.

Let's examine each option.

Ronnie Belliard: Very unlikely to return. I think he will be in the Dodger Blue next year, with Hudson moving on.

Orlando Hudson: A very solid hitter, very consitent. And a 4-time Gold Glove winner. He could replace Guzman's bat in the line-up with his average and is a threat to hit .300. He also provides some speed and he can hit for the same amount of power as Guzman. He his 32 so he could be a solution for a good bit. 4-5 seasons. If picked up I think he is a perfect replacement for Guzman. Younger, faster, better defense. 

Mark Derosa: A career .275 hitter who has shown some pop and is very solid with the glove. He can play all the infiled positions and the corner outfield. I think he is perfectly qualified to start at 2nd. Even if the Nats dont seem him there I believe they should sign him anyways, hes a great utility guy to have coming off your bench. He has also young so he can provide experience and solid performance for a good time.

Placido Polanco: He is older but he is very solid. A gold glove winner. He provides a big defense upgrade.  A career .303 hitter. He would also be a nice replacement of Guzman's bat. And he offers superb defense. I however donot know much in terms of his speed. And he is 34 so hes a shorter term solution. But he still offers alot.

Dan Uggla: He is solid with a glove. He's got good pop, however is average is, well average. But hes got alot going for him. I get to watch him play alot at Nats Park. He has shown me alot. However I would like to see him bring that average up.

Then you move to the in-house canidates. But first let me make this point. Ian Desmond is going to be the shortstop. I watched him play, and he's good. He needs to season his throws a little bit, but with a glove he is spectacular. He brings speed and pop into the line-up. However, if he doesn,t hit .280 or above then I would like the Nationals to bring on somebody who will hit for average.

The team sees veteran Willie Harris as a back-up. I love the guy but I don't see him as the second baseman, but he will be a good utility guy to have on the team.

I think Guzman has the job if he wants it. He certainly provides a great bat in the line-up.

Gonzales has the glove, and the heart, but I just do not know about his bat. In July I wouldn't want him at the plate in any situation, in August I would want him riding the pine, then he got himself back together. He needs to get more consistent.

I think the best option is to sign DeRosa as a utility back-up and then Orlando Hudson. I think you need the average over the power of Uggla. And he brings such great defense and speed. Plus you've already got Zimmerman, Dunn, Willingham, and Dukes to hit homeruns.