Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Brothers Eckstein to be reunited in DC?

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)

Yesterday, the Nationals declined the 2011 mutual option on 2B Adam Kennedy.

Kennedy, who was signed to a two year deal before the 2010 season had a rocky relationship with the Nats from the start. Thanks to the emergence of SS Ian Desmond, Kennedy was forced into a platoon role with Desmond and fellow middle infielder Cristian Guzman.

When you have three players for two spots, in the end, someone is going to be on the outside looking in, and for the Nats, that person was Adam Kennedy. Coming off a 2009 where Kennedy saw a career revival, the Nats brought him in to strengthen what was a position of need for the past few seasons. Due to a lack of playing time, Kennedy was never able to get on track in 2010 and had a down year at the plate hitting .249 with only a .327 OBP. By the time Guzman was traded in August, it was too late for Kennedy, as the Nats quickly brought up infield prospect Danny Espinosa.

Now that we know Kennedy will no longer be apart of the roster in 2011, the question now turns to who will take his spot? While there are a couple of options out there that make sense, don’t be surprised if the Nationals target free agent David Eckstein, Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein's younger brother.

Eckstein, noted for his scrappy play and work ethic is just the type of player Mike Rizzo covets. His lack of production on the field be damned, his intangibles are the type that old school baseball men like Rizzo go gaga over.

Is Eckstein the best course of action for a Nationals squad that by all accounts won’t compete in 2011? Probably not. Will he provide Debbi Taylor and the Nats press corps plenty of puff piece brother stories? Absolutely.

Intangibles + middling name value + “Winner” tag = Pay check from the 2011 Washington Nationals.

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