Monday, December 5, 2011

Kicking Off the Winter Meetings

Ted Lerner has quite a bit of money, Washington has potentially large streams of revenue, and the team appears willing to prime the pump with premier free agent talent..  The primary obligations of the team are Jayson Werth's potential train wreck of a contract and the solid contract associated with Ryan Zimmerman.  They account for 25 MM this year and 30 MM next year.  The club has a great deal of flexibility in their payroll.

However, with this flexibility the club has been largely saying no to many free agents.  Jose Reyes was not sought after.  Prince Fielder has been placed on the back burner.  Mark Buerhle has also been dropped off the radar.  I am not entirely sure where the Nats are going with this.  The team is likely only a couple moves away from the playoffs and it is not clear how they are expecting to make that movement.  The Braves are stuck in neutral, the Phillies' team is strong but the window is closing, the Mets are coming undone, and the Marlins will need a couple more pieces.  The NL East is ripe for the taking.  The Nationals are in striking distance.

Some of the improvement on the team will come from within.  Several components of the pitching staff should be able to contribute more this year.  Even if Strasburg loses a few mph, he is good enough to provide mid to top rotation value.  Werth is not as base as he was last year.  The team actually has reasonable options everywhere in the field except SS, LF, and CF.  They could also use another starting pitcher.  Those are the areas where they will need to focus their resources.

Yoenis Cespedes has been tied close to the Nationals.  This would be a great fit for them.  He is likely to be at worst serviceable in center field and that is a need.  They would also need to improve upon Bernadina as a backup center fielder in case Cespedes needs time in the minors.  Andruw Jones could be a decent plan B.  Mike Morse might be fine in left with LaRoche going back to 1B healthy.  There simply are no viable ways to improve SS unless they choose to spend big on Jimmy Rollins.  For pitchers, we will see how things shake up.

Let us hope for an interesting Winter Meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment