Rocket Bill mentioned yesterday that a dozen teams have contacted the Nats about Epsinosa. MLB Trade Rumors sums up the totality of Danny rumors over the off-season (it's not much) and once glance will tell you what the issue is. Other teams are looking at Espinosa not because they are enthralled with Danny Espinosa the player. They are looking at Espinosa because they are enthralled with Danny Espinosa the "buy low" possibility.
As we've discussed before, going into Sept of 2012, Danny was a more than passable 2nd baseman. I know you hate his low average and strikeouts but he got on base ok, hit for power, and fielded well. Legit Top 10 MLB 2nd baseman (for what's that worth). Add to that that he's still not old and you have someone that teams are willing to take a gamble on. But given how absolutely hideous he was last year, the gamble they are willing to make is rightfully very small. The Nats understand all this but Rizzo does not want to sell low.
So it comes down to a staring contest. The Nats could use Danny as a back-up fielder or organizational depth in case Rendon or Desmond get injured. They don't need to deal him. At the same time another subpar year for Danny and you are looking at getting nothing for him. Are the Nats making the right move by hoping for a better deal for Danny? I think so.
I fall in with Rizzo on this one. Given his potential usefulness and his previous status as a starter I think one bad year (and one I'm sure was injury based - though I'm not sold the injuries have healed) is not enough to sell low on Danny. Selling low on Danny means trading him as if he was a terrible hitting bench player. That means you are going to get a fringe prospect or an old AAA guy or something like that, not a true prospect. When I think what would I rather have, Espinosa or one of these types the answer is easy. I'd rather have Espinosa.
I don't believe the whole "competition" thing is real (I think it's a smokescreen to build up value for Danny). I don't think that Danny will be happy in whatever role he falls to, be it bench player or AAA Rendon insurance. However, as callous as this may sound, I don't care if Danny is happy. We've seen how bad back-up infielders can be on even the best of teams. Danny can help the team in this role. They should keep him unless the deal is too good to pass up.
In the end if the Nats miss their chance on another Dakota Bacus then so be it. They should be focused on 2014 and in 2014 I don't see the Nats getting anyone in a deal for Danny that will fit the team better than Danny does himself.