I certainly agree with MASNsports.com's Ben Goessling that Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton would be a solid fit for the Nationals in center field. He's another Virginia native who's just entering his prime. He's got some power, can steal some bases, and can play some defense. Plus, he's a longtime pal of Ryan Zimmerman.
Upton will be expensive to obtain, but the Nats might be a match. But I keep coming back to another name who would fit equally as well: Michael Bourn of the Houston Astros.
Bourn's a tad older than Upton, but both players are just entering their prime. Bourn doesn't have Upton's power, but Upton doesn't have Bourn's speed. Bourn has also won two Gold Gloves. Both players are well-suited for the leadoff spot in the order.
Here's the rub: Bourn is a Houston native, and is one of Houston general manager Ed Wade's all-time favorite players. One of Wede's priorities upon taking the Astros' job was getting Bourn from his former employer, the Phillies. Desperate whatever struggles the Astros may encounter, it's believed that Bourn might be the last player he's willing to deal. The wild card might be that Bourn is represented by Scott Boras, who has a fairly solid relationship with the Nationals.
It's an accepted inevitability that Washington will upgrade its middle outfield position before the start of the 2012 season. Either Bourn or Upton meets the criteria with room to spare. The Nats may also opt for in-house candidate Roger Bernadina, who's currently hitting .250, but in only 20 at-bats at Triple-A Syracuse.