The Washington Nationals early exit in the playoffs left a lot of questions on the table to be discussed for the upcoming season. I’m going to explore different options the team could take this off-season hopefully giving the Nats the proverbial “leg up” in the NL East in this upcoming campaign.
There are some in-house things to take a look at first, and then some possible moves to bring in new guys.
• Resign Adam LaRoche:
Adam might just be the key in what the team is trying to do moving forward. Recently LaRoche declined the Nationals one year offer which now gives the Nats a draft pick if in fact LaRoche walks. If the Nats don’t resign Adam, you could always move Mike Morse back to first base but that leaves a hole in Left Field.
• Is Mike Morse trade bait?
Many people believe that the Nationals could in fact move away from the “Beast Mode” experience and go with a free agent or with the young and talented Tyler Moore in left field, but this all will come to light once the LaRoche situation is figured out and handled.
• Is Danny Espinosa the guy at 2nd base?
Safe to say that Espinosa had his ups and downs this year. After leading the league in strike outs this past year the Nats could have their hands full with a decision that could make or break them. While he is a pretty good defender, the swinging and missing this past year might be his undoing coming into this off-season.
• What is the 2013 pitching rotation going to look like?
To me…not a huge problem for the Nationals to figure out. The good thing about being a good ball club is that you can always land a pitcher of high quality. The Nats are in a pretty good place with the only bump in the road being whether they will resign Edwin Jackson or not. The team is also considering elevating Christian Garcia to a starting role which means Jackson would be the odd man out.
Now let’s take a look at some free agents or trades the Washington Nationals can try to sway to play in the Nation’s Capital.
• B.J. Upton:
Apparently the Nationals have their hearts and minds set on bringing Upton in from the Diamondbacks. This would give them the option to move Bryce to RF, Werth to LF, and Upton would play CF.
• Josh Hamilton:
This would be awesome. I know what you might say “it’s a risk reward type deal” but there is no denying Josh Hamilton’s will to win and huge bat! There have been talks of this happening if the Upton deal doesn’t follow through.
• Zach Greinke:
Another high dollar guy that just may be worth it. If Jackson doesn’t return and they don’t lift Garcia to a starter, that leaves room for Greinke to be signed and maybe be the clubs ace?
• Nick Swisher:
Lots of potential in this signing. The Nats would add another power hitter to a lineup that needs just that, and gives the young players someone to look up to. This deal might not be the flashiest move but it could do wonders in the long run for growth and cohesion as a young ball club.
No matter what off-season moves the Nationals make, they are going to have lots of options to add to and upgrade this roster to try and make a deeper run in the postseason. Either way, as Nats fans, it will be exciting to watch what they do prior to the upcoming season.