Inbox: What are the Nationals' internal options at second?

Inbox: What are the Nationals' internal options at second?

Email your questions to Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson for future Inbox consideration.

Assuming the Nationals don't make any acquisitions via trade or free agency, what is their in-house solution for second base?
-- Chris D., Washington, D.C.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nationals sign Uggla to Minor League deal

Three-time All-Star second baseman has played for Marlins, Braves and Giants

Nationals sign Uggla to Minor League deal

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals signed second baseman Dan Uggla to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Friday.

Uggla has struggled the past three years, hitting a combined .194 with 43 home runs for the Braves and Giants. He was selected by the D-backs in the 11th round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, when Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was Arizona's scouting director.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats return to top of NL East in exciting '14 campaign

Zimmermann's no-hitter, walk-off-filled 10-game win streak among highlights

Nats return to top of NL East in exciting '14 campaign

WASHINGTON -- The 2014 regular season was great for the Nationals. They won their second division title in three years, this time by 17 games over the Braves and Mets. It helped that they had a dominant pitching staff, led by Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann.

Despite major injuries to players such as Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos, the Nationals managed to stay consistent at the plate. It helped they had Denard Span and Anthony Rendon producing at the top of the order.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Christmas has deep meaning for Barrett

Nats reliever finds joy in spending time with wife, giving back to community

Christmas has deep meaning for Barrett

Right-hander Aaron Barrett was an integral part of the Nationals' bullpen this past season, and in his first year in the big leagues the 26-year-old was productive, appearing in 50 games and posting a 2.66 ERA.

With Christmas coming up, Barrett is spending a lot of time with his wife, Kendyl, in Atlanta. MLB.com caught up with Barrett, and it's obvious that Christmas is a special time for him.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Nats agree to deal with infielder Stewart

Source: Nats agree to deal with infielder Stewart

WASHINGTON -- In need of a left-handed bat off the bench, the Nationals signed third baseman Ian Stewart to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, two baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com.

The Nationals have not confirmed the deal.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doug Fister bought you a cup of coffee for Christmas

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Doug Fister bought you a cup of coffee for Christmas

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear ... unless you're a Major League pitcher with enough zeroes in the bank account to justify buying everyone on the Internet a cup of coffee, in which case: do that.

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MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Giolito among Pleskoff's top 10 prospects

Former scout takes a look at baseball's future stars with a breakdown of the best in the game

Giolito among Pleskoff's top 10 prospects

It is always difficult to rank prospects. Why is pitcher X better than hitter X in the rankings? The results are in the eyes of the person compiling the lists. That's exactly why multiple scouts or player evaluation professionals may have different rankings. Prospects are just that -- prospects. The truth of their ability will come between the foul lines of big league ballparks.

Given the landscape of individual difference, I offer my own 2015 Top 10 Prospects list. For me, each has the upside of an impact player.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross eager for chance to compete for spot with Nats

Ross eager for chance to compete for spot with Nats

WASHINGTON -- Last week, right-hander Joe Ross was hanging out with his roommate, Nationals outfielder Jeff Kobernus, when he received word that he had been traded. He thought the Padres had sent him to the Rays before learning that he was part of the three-team, 11-player deal that brought him and shortstop Trea Turner to Washington. Ross joins an organization that has a plethora of pitching in the Major Leagues and the farm system, and he can't wait for his chance to compete.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to the Nationals or somewhere else. I had to wait it out," Ross said via telephone. "But I'm excited. It's obviously good news. It's obviously a good organization. It's kind of like a fresh start."

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats, reliever Bell agree on Minor League deal

Nats, reliever Bell agree on Minor League deal

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals added bullpen depth on Monday by signing reliever Heath Bell to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Bell broke the news in Derek Jeter's magazine, The Players' Tribune. If Bell makes the team, his base salary will be $1 million, according to a source.

"Today I'm in D.C. because I'm still chasing that dream. At around noon today, I signed with the Nationals," Bell said in the article. "I can't wait to play for the Nationals. By writing this, I guess everyone will know that I like to throw a first-pitch fastball for a strike. Some secret now. But see if you can hit it."

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In 3-team deal, Nats acquire 2 pieces for future

In 3-team deal, Nats acquire 2 pieces for future

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals were part of a three-team, 11-player trade with the Rays and Padres on Wednesday evening, a deal that was finalized Friday morning.

Washington acquired right-hander Joe Ross and a player to be named from the Padres -- it is believed that shortstop Trea Turner is that player -- and the Nationals sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and left-hander Travis Ott to the Rays.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Loss of Souza leaves Nats with hole to fill on bench

Loss of Souza leaves Nats with hole to fill on bench

WASHINGTON -- With the trade of Steven Souza Jr. to the Rays, the Nationals lost a player who could have provided power off the bench, thinning out a unit that already was in need of bolstering.

The offseason is far from over, though, so general manager Mike Rizzo can be expected to address the bench before Spring Training.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Andrew Simon contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Crowded 11-player trade features top young talent

Rays, Nats and Padres each pick up impressive haul of prospects

Crowded 11-player trade features top young talent

Was keeping track of all the moving parts in the massive three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals a difficult task? To help sort things out, here's a quick scorecard of who went where:

Padres get:

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper, Nats reach 2-year deal, avoiding grievance

Harper, Nats reach 2-year deal, avoiding grievance

WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Bryce Harper and the Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal worth $7.5 million, a baseball source told MLB.com on Monday. The Nationals have not confirmed the deal, which was first reported by the Washington Post.

The deal resolves what had been a challenging situation for the club and player. Harper's agent, Scott Boras, believed Harper should have been arbitration-eligible this winter, while the Nats contended that Harper should not be eligible until after the 2015 season. The new pact increases Harper's salary over the $1.5 million he was set to earn via his previous contract, but avoids the parties going through the arbitration process for at least two more years.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats' core feels a sense of urgency heading into 2015

Stammen, Zimmerman talk about club's impending free agents at NatsFest

Nats' core feels a sense of urgency heading into 2015

WASHINGTON -- Friday's trade of pitcher Ross Detwiler to the Rangers could be a small sneak preview of things to come for Nationals players, who have a large contingent of teammates nearing free agency.

Detwiler was one of those, and the former first-round Draft pick now has a new address after growing up in the organization alongside many of the players who have helped lead the team's recent run of success. But if this particular group is going to reach its ultimate goal, a World Series title, 2015 could represent its final chance.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quartet takes break from rumors at NatsFest

Desmond, Zimmermann, Clippard, Fister get chance to mingle with fans

Quartet takes break from rumors at NatsFest

WASHINGTON -- One could tell that Nationals fans were happy to see shortstop Ian Desmond and right-handers Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Doug Fister at NatsFest on Saturday afternoon.

The four players have been mentioned in trade rumors and will be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. Neither player was thinking about leaving the Nationals on this day. There was Desmond hanging out with his son, Grayson. Fister talked about getting married this offseason and how fun it was to be on the USO tour. Clippard was often reminded by the fans that he is loved in Washington. Then there's Zimmermann. It seemed all the fans wanted to talk about was the no-hitter he threw against the Marlins on the last day of the 2014 season.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frandsen aiming for everyday second-base job

Frandsen aiming for everyday second-base job

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are looking for a starting second baseman, and infielder Kevin Frandsen said Saturday he would like to be considered for the job.

The Nationals have been looking for a second baseman ever since Asdrubal Cabrera became a free agent. Frandsen has been in the Majors since 2006, and the most games he has ever played in a season occurred in 2013. He played 119 games that year for the Phillies and hit .234 with five home runs and 26 RBIs.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper forgoes NatsFest with grievance looming

Case to be heard next week on slugger's eligibility for arbitration

Harper forgoes NatsFest with grievance looming

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was scheduled to attend NatsFest on Saturday, but decided against it because of a grievance hearing scheduled for the coming week.

"We are disappointed that he is not here, but he chose not to be here because of the grievance," general manager Mike Rizzo said.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Rizzo not contacted by Blue Jays

Source: Rizzo not contacted by Blue Jays

WASHINGTON -- During NatsFest, ESPN reported that the Blue Jays are looking for a team president/CEO and have interest in Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. But a baseball source said the Blue Jays have not contacted Rizzo.

According to ESPN, the Blue Jays are looking to replace Paul Beeston. During the Winter Meetings, Orioles GM Dan Duquette and White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams were speculated as possible candidates.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo confident about future of De Los Santos, Bostick

Prospects acquired from Texas for Detwiler caught scouts' attention

Rizzo confident about future of De Los Santos, Bostick

WASHINGTON -- During the Winter Meetings, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was able to acquire right-hander Abel De Los Santos and infielder Chris Bostick from the Rangers for left-hander Ross Detwiler.

Rizzo said the Nationals scouted the two Minor Leaguers heavily before the trade. Bostick has hit .270 with 29 home runs in his short career, but Rizzo believes the power is going to come.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quiet Meetings leave Nats looking at busy couple months

Quiet Meetings leave Nats looking at busy couple months

SAN DIEGO -- There was a lot of talk about what the Nationals were going to do at the Winter Meetings, but other than a reported deal sending left-hander Ross Detwiler to the Rangers for two Minor Leaguers, it was a quiet four days for general manager Mike Rizzo and his staff.

But the Nationals are far from done. They still need to figure out what to do with Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Ian Desmond, Tyler Clippard and Doug Fister, all of whom could leave via free agency after the 2015 season.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats send lefty Detwiler to Texas for Minor Leaguers

Nats send lefty Detwiler to Texas for Minor Leaguers

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals have traded left-hander Ross Detwiler to the Rangers for two Minor Leaguers.

Right-hander Abel De Los Santos and infielder Chris Bostick are the Minor Leaguers the Nationals are getting in return, as the deal was officially announced on Friday.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barrett, Frandsen brighten day for young patients

After hospital visit, pair heads to Nats' Youth Academy

Barrett, Frandsen brighten day for young patients

WASHINGTON -- Sean Heagney was lying in a bed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Friday, undergoing a plasmapheresis, in which plasma is removed from the blood and replaced to get rid of harmful antibodies. During such a procedure, any movement can cause severe bleeding.

Yet the 13-year-old eighth grader from Fort Collins, Colo., had trouble keeping himself still when a nurse told him that Nationals players would be visiting the hospital's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center later that day.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats reach out to Zimm's agent, plan Harper shift

Teams ask about Detwiler; Washington not pursuing Scherzer

Nats reach out to Zimm's agent, plan Harper shift

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals didn't make any trades Wednesday, but general manager Mike Rizzo had a lot to say. He indicated that he met with Jordan Zimmermann's agent Wednesday. Rizzo said the conversation was more of a "reacquaintance" as far as talking about philosophies and parameters.

"It was a good initial discussion," Rizzo said.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Williams focused on 2015 as Nats eye moves

Club likely to undergo changes as Rizzo looks to build for future success

Williams focused on 2015 as Nats eye moves

SAN DIEGO -- Nationals manager Matt Williams has moved past the National League Division Series loss to the Giants and is thinking about 2015.

Williams said he is in contact with general manager Mike Rizzo all the time. The skipper confirmed the club is listening to trade offers. Williams also understands that Rizzo is looking to improve the Nats for this coming season and beyond.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Renda named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

Most Valuable Player Greg Bird leads young stars following AFL season

Renda named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

The Arizona Fall League on Wednesday announced its 2014 Top Prospects Team, highlighted by league Most Valuable Player Greg Bird and baseball's top prospect Byron Buxton.

The 22-man Top Prospects Team includes at least one player from 16 Major League organizations. The Fall League managers and coaches voted on the team, taking into consideration the players' performances during the fall and their projected future in the Major Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nationals silent at Meetings despite trade talks

Nationals silent at Meetings despite trade talks

SAN DIEGO -- There have been rumblings about the Nationals potentially trading their core players such as right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond. But for the most part, it was a quiet Tuesday at the Winter Meetings.

But the rumors started early in the day. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported that the Rangers inquired about Zimmermann. But Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo reiterated that he still wants to sign Zimmermann to a long-term extension, though he hasn't meant with Zimmermann's representatives.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Desmond looking to be with Nats beyond 2015

Shortstop hoping club can stay intact coming off postseason berth

Desmond looking to be with Nats beyond 2015

SAN DIEGO -- Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond made it known on Tuesday that he doesn't want to get traded and he hopes to get his contract situation resolved soon.

Desmond is one of five players -- Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Tyler Clippard and Denard Span are the others -- on the club who could become free agents after the 2015 season. The Nats are already listening to potential trade offers on those players.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lindsay Berra

Young looks to get slimmer 'meat hooks' into coaching

13-year big leaguer seeking job in player development at Winter Meetings

Young looks to get slimmer 'meat hooks' into coaching

SAN DIEGO -- A tall, lanky man leans against a pillar in the lobby of the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel. Another man hurries by, makes eye contact, and literally stops in his tracks.

"I didn't even recognize you, man!" he said. "Where's the rest of you?"

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Lindsay Berra is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo: Nats are 'open for business' at Winter Meetings

Rizzo: Nats are 'open for business' at Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Monday that no progress was made as far as extending the contracts of Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Ian Desmond, Tyler Clippard and Denard Span, all of whom could be free agents after the 2015 season.

It was reported Sunday that the Nationals are going to make another offer to Zimmermann sometime this week. Zimmermann has established himself as the ace of the pitching staff, winning 45 games in the last three years with a 2.96 ERA.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.