As the Nationals move through the 2012 offseason with an apparent interest in signing an outfielder, they may face competition from some of their closest rivals.
According to NBC Sports, free agent center fielder B.J. Upton has already met with both the Braves and the Phillies. The Braves have an opening because of the expected departure of Michael Bourn, another big name on the outfield free agent market.
Upton Tweeted on Friday his enjoyment of the free agent tour as he is likely to see interest from more than just two teams.
I'm really blown away by the love other cities are showing me right now. Can't wait to see how this pans out. #intrigued
— BJ Upton (@BJUPTON2) November 16, 2012
The meeting on Thursday with Atlanta took place at Turner Field with Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez there to make the pitch. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported the Braves view Upton as “as the most attractive outfielder available on the free agent market.”
Upton’s meeting with Philly was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and less information is known as to how it went.
The Nationals would also seem to have interest in Upton, a player they have been linked to several times over the past few years. No other teams have been said to have contacted him yet, but it looks like there is an increasing chance Upton lands in the National League East. Where exactly is anyone’s guess.
Bowman says Upton and Bourn could each be looking for deals as long as five years and for as much as $75 million. Upton being two years younger may be the reason he is further along in the process of getting signed. If the Nationals signed either player for those terms they would have Jayson Werth and either Bourn or Upton locked in to their outfield through 2017. With Harper also in the mix, they would be solidifying their three outfield positions for the foreseeable future.
The Nationals still remain committed to re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche. Both Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson have voiced their intention to bring him back and all signs point to that being their first order of business. While updates on LaRoche and the Nationals has been scarce, their division rivals are aggressively looking to make their first moves. If the Nationals do sign Upton or Bourn, it could affect retaining LaRoche, and vice versa. Whichever move they make first, if they choose to do one or the other, could set up the dominoes for the rest of their offseason. Either move would then affect the future of Michael Morse and the positions of first base and left field.
WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon homered twice and drove in five runs, Joe Ross returned from the minors to allow one run over a career high-tying eight innings, and the Washington Nationals routed the Seattle Mariners 10-1 on Tuesday night.
Bryce Harper added his 14th homer and Jayson Werth hit his seventh off Chris Bergman (1-2), who allowed all of the Nationals' runs and 14 of their 15 hits.
Rendon doubled before his second homer -- and seventh of the season -- completed an eight-run fourth inning. Ryan Zimmerman also had three hits.
Mike Zunino homered off Ross (2-0) in his return from his own minor league stint. Robinson Cano was hitless in his first game back from the disabled list following a thigh injury as Seattle dropped its fourth straight.
Ross showed no signs of the late April struggles that ended with a demotion to Triple-A Syracuse. He yielded five hits and a walk while striking out six, and retired 12 straight batters after a leadoff single to begin the game.
By the time Seattle finally put multiple runners aboard, Washington had already opened a 10-0 lead.
Rendon's second-inning shot around the left field foul pole made it 2-0.
Then Werth, Harper and Rendon all connected in the fourth, helping the Nationals score seven of their eight runs in the inning with two outs.
MORE NATIONALS: WATCH: Werth, Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nationals win
The Nationals had a big day at the plate Tuesday night.
Washington hit four home runs, including three in an eight-run fourth inning, in its 10-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon hit two home runs – the first a two-run blast to left field in the second inning and the second a three-run shot to center in the fourth. He finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs.
Prior to Rendon’s second homer in the fourth inning, left fielder Jayson Werth hit a two-run blast to left field, which was followed by a solo shot from right fielder Bryce Harper in the next at-bat.
Harper’s homer was measured at 450 feet.
At the end of the fourth, the Nationals led 10-0, which also included an RBI single from catcher Matt Wieters and an RBI triple from shortstop Trea Turner.
Tuesday night’s contest was the first of a three-game home series against the Mariners, who play in the American League. The Nationals and Mariners also will play Wednesday and Thursday.
Earlier this season in a 23-5 win over the New York Mets on April 30, Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs to become the first player to accomplish that feat since at least 1913. He now has seven homers this season.
Harper’s homer was his 14th of the season, tying him for first in the National League with the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge is first with 15.
Though he did not have a home run Tuesday night, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 13 for the season.
MORE NATIONALS: 2017 MLB Power Rankings: As Bryce Harper goes, so do the Nationals