Are the Nationals interested in Pedro Martinez? What are the Nationals going to do with their crowded outfield? Those are two of the many questions Nats fans want to know during Spring Training. Here are answers to some of those queries.
Free agent Pedro Martinez would win some games and draw fans in Washington. The Nationals could use a tested starter. Any thoughts? -- Kyle S. Arlington, Va.
I think Martinez would be a great fit because he would be the veteran who could lead the young pitching staff, but will he ask for a lot of money? If he does, I don't see the Nationals signing him. He has to come cheaply.
I saw Ivan Rodriguez in the World Baseball Classic, and he looks impressive. He has not signed with a Major League team yet. Would the Nationals be interested in him as a mentor to Jesus Flores and a backup catcher?
-- Raul T., Arlington, Va.
Flores doesn't need another mentor. Pat Corrales, the team's special advisor, is good enough. Based on the reports I've read, Rodriguez wants to play every day, so he wouldn't be a good fit for the Nationals. Washington doesn't need a backup, either, because it has a great one in Wil Nieves.
It is exciting to think that in the not too distance future, the Nationals are going to have John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg leading this starting pitching staff for years to come.
-- Rich R., Slingerlands, N.Y.
Let's not get so far ahead of ourselves. Strasberg hasn't been drafted or signed yet. But I can understand your excitement. Lannan is going to be a great pitcher, and Zimmermann is exciting to watch. I admire that both players are so focused when they are on the mound.
What will the Nats do with their crowded outfield? Obviously, Austin Kearns or Elijah Dukes will not accept a backup roll.
-- Michael R., St. John's, Newfoundland
Have a question about the Nationals?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
There is no question the Nationals have to trade some players. I think Lastings Milledge and, maybe, Josh Willingham have trade value. Players like Kearns and Wily Mo Pena are coming off seasons they would like to forget, and I don't see how assistant general manager Mike Rizzo can get good players for those guys. We'll see what happens.
I would like to see the Nationals acknowledge earlier Washington teams rather than the Montreal Expos. Surely, Washington fans prefer to think of a team history that includes Walter Johnson, Bucky Harris and Frank Howard, rather than one featuring Andre Dawson, who never played a game in Washington.
-- Larry F., Gaithersburg, Md.
I think you are confused. The Nationals acknowledge the old Washington teams. They are building statues of Josh Gibson, Howard and Johnson at Nationals Park this season. MLB.com acknowledges the Expos because the Nationals came from Montreal. As a person who lived there for two years, I agree with the company's decision when it comes to remembering the Expos. I still get joy writing about Dawson, Tim Raines and Gary Carter. I also enjoy writing about guys like Howard, as well.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.