WASHINGTON — The Nationals are reportedly showing interest in Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon, according to Jon Morosi.
Teams show interest all the time, because any opportunity to upgrade a position is worth exploring.
“We’re always looking,” Nationals GM Mike Rizzo uttered a common refrain in June as reports surfaced of Washington’s interest in Yankees reliever Andrew Miller. “We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t.” Interest doesn’t necessarily precede the occurrence of a trade.
What makes this trade opportunity so intriguing is, if true, it might suggest the Nationals aren’t satisfied with their current center fielders, Michael A. Taylor and Ben Revere.
As Morosi notes, the Nationals rank dead-last in OPS (.573) out of the leadoff spot, and 28th in OPS (.611) from the center field position. Taylor is hitting .206/.248/.382 in 145 plate appearance as a leadoff hitter, while Revere has a .223/.270/.300 slash line batting leadoff in 238 plate appearances.
Blackmon has hit primarily out of the leadoff spot for the Rockies, with a .305 average and .851 OPS batting first in the order this year. He may be in the midst of a career year with 12 home runs, 43 RBI and 27 walks in 355 plate appearances.
Blackmon, 30, wouldn’t be the cheapest asset to acquire at a reported $3.5 million salary in 2016, per Spotrac.com. The left-handed hitter will also be arbitration eligible for the next two seasons.