Thursday, October 8, 2009

Washington Nationals Offseason Outlook

Free Agents: x-Dmitri Young, 1B; x-Austin Kearns, OF; Odalis Perez, LHP; Gary Glover, RHP; Gary Majewski, RHP; Ron Villone, LHP; Mike MacDougal, RHP; Josh Bard, C; Pete Orr, 2B; Livan Hernandez, RP.

Arbitration Eligible: Josh Willingham, OF; Scott Olsen, LHP; Logan Kensing, RHP; Jason Bergmann, RHP; Sean Burnett, RHP;

Needs: SP, RP, 2B, OF, Depth

Likely Outcome: The Nationals are going to have a bit of payroll flexibility this offseason, but I cannot see them adding a whole lot of salary for 2010. If they are willing to make a commitment to adding another legitimate starting pitcher. Fortunately for them, this is absolutely going to be a buyers market for starting pitching. With high risk, high reward options all over in the form of Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer, Kelvim Escobar, Rich Harden or Ben Sheets the Nationals could be a player for one of those types to add some depth to a very weak pitching staff. In the bullpen, they would benefit greatly from bringing in two or three quality arms in addition to a closer. They probably won't be able to do all of that however, a reliever looking for another chance at closing like Kevin Gregg, Billy Wagner or LaTroy Hawkins seems plausible.

They have some bright spots around the diamond in Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimermann and John Lannan right now. Nyjer Morgan was electric after being traded by Pittsburgh, but I positive he is not a .351 hitter as he was after being traded to Washington by Pittsburgh. Still, Morgan is deserving of a full season in the lead-off capacity with a career .303/.362 BA/OBP split. Stephen Strasburg is a bright spot for the future and the Nationals possess the #1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, so hopefully they will be looking at another blue chipper next June. I cannot see this team competing in 2010, however if they can add a couple of legitimate pitchers both in the rotation and bullpen as well as to their bench, this is a team that won't be a laughing stock in 2010.

1 comment:

Shane said...

Jordan Zimmerman will be out for another year with a little TJ surgery action. That does not help the Nats. He was starting to put together a solid season after running into some bad luck early.

And you're right about Morgan. I think with that .398 BABIP, we'll see a big time correction in his avg. Same with Ian Desmond. I'm sure he's due for a correction, but what a great bounce back year.

Also, it'll be nice to see if Jesus Flores can put together an entire year behind the dish.