So as Jon previewed the other day, the Winter Meetings were this week in Dallas. For those of you who don't know, it's a giant meeting with Major and Minor league officials, agents, players and MLB staff as far as the eye can see. For those of us who love the offseason, trades, free agent signings and hot-stove speculation, it's like a three day stay in Toys R Us for a kid. The Washington Nationals however, must have missed their invitation, it was very quiet out of the DC camp this year.
Despite rumors that they were in on Fielder, CJ Wilson, and Mark Buehrle, they came up empty. I thought Wilson was a great fit here, getting someone to balance Strasburg, and Zimmermann at the top of the rotation would have been a huge boon for the Nationals. Rumors abounded left and right about a possible trade for a CF, even targeting Adam Jones of the Orioles (which I suggested a few months back in a swap for perhaps Zimmermann, but without signing another frontline SP, that isn't going to happen.)
Now the Nats find them in the same position they were before the meetings, looking for a SP, CF, lead-off hitter and some depth. Talk emerged today about potentially shifting Werth to CF and opening up RF for Harper to start the season, but starting his clock at 19 years old could prove to be very expensive for the team down the road.
There are still a few lesser targets out there that make some sense for the Nats, Oswalt perhaps, who they have been talking to. Cespedes is still out there, and makes some sense here, however his cost has been skyrocketing with more teams getting in the mix, he could be a great gamble for the club though, especially if they don't end up signing any of the top tier FA. Paul Maholm could be a good fit here too, I think he fits better in the NL, and this could be a good home park for him. Two other guys that could make sense for SP depth are Brad Penny and Chris Young.
There are moves out there to be made, and with young talent still developing in the minors, adding without subtracting might be the best course for this season in order to give the young guys more chance to develop and see what they have. With Rendon, Harper, Cole and others getting some seasoning they are positioning themselves to contend for more than just a year or two, they just need to supplement their core with some good role players and veteran pieces and we could be seeing something really special come into play. As DC has shown numerous times recently (yeah I mean you Capitals), if you win, they will come. Once the Nats start winning they will become the trendy thing in town and the attendance and revenue will follow. Before that happens though, they need to start actually making something happen instead of just talking about it. The Angels were becoming the bridesmaids of MLB free agency always in the final talks, but never landing the prize...then they sign Wilson and Pujols within hours of each other. No one is thinking of them as 2nd place in anything anymore.
I hope Rizzo asked Santa for an alarm for Christmas this year, because he needs to wake up and make some things happen before it's too late.