With Bryce Harper entrenched in rightfield for the long-term, the Nationals have their middle of the order power bat for years to come. Despite Harper’s presence in the middle of the lineup, the Nationals could still use some upgrades in their outfield as a whole. With the departure of Denard Span, who likely won’t be back for the Nationals next year, the team is left with injury-prone Jayson Werth in leftfield, and not yet proven youngster Michael Taylor in centerfield. While this is a respectable set up if the Nationals want to keep it as is, the team could certainly benefit from signing some protection for the question marks hanging above both Werth and Taylor.
One possibility that has been advanced in recent weeks, is the potential of the Nationals signing one of the big free-agent outfielders, whether it is Yoenis Cespedes, Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon or Justin Upton, and moving Bryce Harper to center, and playing any of these guys in either right, or moving Werth to right and playing them in left. As it currently stands, the player drawing the most interest from the Nationals appears to be Justin Upton. He is probably the biggest power hitter of the four, save for Cespedes, and comes with fewer offensive or age-related questions than the other big outfield free agents.
This type of move would require a big financial commitment for the Nationals but would sure up their offense that took a step back last year as a team. Upton would provide the middle of the lineup protection that Harper would need while also providing more outfield depth as Michael Taylor can continue to be used in a utility capacity at least for 2016. If not for the Baltimore Orioles, the Nationals would seem to have the most extensive interest in bringing Upton to town.