Perusing the list of players non-tendered this week, I spot the name of Joe Saunders, a left-hander most recently of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Saunders, a West Springfield High (Va.) product, spent most of his career with the Angels. He was traded to the Snakes for Dan Haren in July 2010, and has a 3.69 ERA in 46 starts in the National League.
If the Nationals want to add another veteran starter - and no genuine No. 1 starters are out there - would Saunders, at 30, be worthy of consideration?
Admittedly, the local aspect of Saunders' background may mean more to some than to others. I have to think, though, that Saunders might be wondering what it's like to play for the hometown nine.
I'm not surprised that the Nats non-tendered Doug Slaten. They found out what life was like without him for several weeks last season, and figure they have some equivalent in-house options, though Slaten can always be re-signed.
On the center field front, it's a given that the Nationals want to have another option besides moving Jayson Werth from right. If Brett Gardner of the Yankees is truly not available, and the Angels want a ransom for Peter Bourjos, and Denard Span is still having concussion symptoms, I present a quartet of center fielders whose names could possibly enter the conversation.
The Toronto Blue Jays recent acquisition of Ben Francisco from the Phillies may make Rajai Davis available. Davis is 31, has no power and is coming off of a down year for the Jays when he hit just .238. His previous two years with Oakland he hit .284 and .305 with 91 steals.
Ex-Nat Marlon Byrd is 34, and according to sources, available from the Cubs. He's a career .281 hitter with a .759 OPS. He's above average defensively and has 51 career assists.
Coco Crisp stole 49 bases for the A's in 2011, but has been shopped by Oakland this offseason. He's 32, a good defender,and doesn't make a fortune.
The longest of longshots for the job might be Mike Cameron, a soon-to-be 39-year-old. The 17-season veteran, got a two-year $15 million deal from the Red Sox prior to the 2010 season - and did virtually nothing. In 81 games for the Carmines, he batted .219 with seven homers and 24 RBIs. Boston traded him to the Marlins in early July after a .149 start, and in 45 games he hit .238 with six home runs and 18 RBIs.
I added Cameron to the list based on the Powell Theory. After consecutive bad years with the Orioles, Baltimore sent Boog Powell to Cleveland after the 1974 season. He responded with a .297 average with 27 home runs and 86 RBIs, the classic farewell tour type of season. Powell, unfortunately, didn't walk away after that; his performance fell off precipitously in 1976, hitting just .215 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs before a short stint as a Dodgers pinch-hitter in 1977. Because Cameron is far more athletically built than Powell, maybe he has one more streak of greatness left. Or not.
Whatever the outcome, it's a safe bet that someone with "CF" on their resume who's not currently on the Nats' roster will be around Viera, Fla., in a couple of months.
Please, no wagering.