July 29, 2021

The Nationals’ Long-Term Projection of Carter Kieboom Dictates Their Infield Future (Baseball Essential)

Infielder Carter Kieboom, 22, is the Washington Nationals top prospect, but his future with the team is an enigma. The organization’s long-term projection of their 2016 first-round draft selection will dictate the team’s infield future.

After losing Anthony Rendon, a finalist for the National League Most Valuable Player Award last season, to the Los Angeles Angels in free agency, the defending World Series champions are on the hunt for infielders, especially with just two players from their 2019 postseason infield rotation present: Trea Turner and Howie Kendrick.

The recurring name that keeps circulating is third baseman Josh Donaldson, who’s coming off a bounce-back season with the Atlanta Braves where he hit 37 home runs and posted a .900 OPS. Outside of the 2015 American League MVP, there aren’t any prominent corner infielders on the open market.

The Nationals also likely aren’t going to pony up the assets deemed necessary to acquire Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Chicago Cubs would want Nationals 22-year-old center fielder Victor Robles for Bryant. When the Nationals inevitably refuse to trade Robles, the Cubs would…

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