MLB Rumors: Are the Washington Nationals the Favorite for Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke?

By Bryan Lutz
Rafael Suanes – US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Nationals were one of baseball’s best stories in 2012. But if the MLB rumors from the GM meetings are true, they will be the unprecedented favorite for 2013 and beyond:

As Clark Griswold said in the movie Vacation: This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!!!

As always, let’s look at this from a financial perspective. The Nationals guaranteed payroll for 2013 is only $62 million, $30 million less than 2012. The only two players that should be a little costly in arbitration are Jordan Zimmermann and Tyler Clippard, but the guaranteed payroll shouldn’t go over $70 million, all things considered. So, the Nationals do have money to spend.

Now, to the Josh Hamilton rumor. Assuming the Nationals move on without Adam LaRoche, Hamilton makes a whole lot of sense for Washington. If Hamilton was a National, the defensive liability that is Michael Morse in leftfield would move to first base, allowing Hamilton to start in leftfield. An outfield of Hamilton, Bryce Harper, and Jayson Werth is flat out dirty anyway you look at it.

The Nationals can do this, and it’s not all that unlikely. #Natitude has caught on in a big way in DC; ergo, the team won’t really have to worry about having a $100 million payroll with an empty stadium (i.e. Miami Marlins). Another good reason for going all-in like this is that their window is a wide open one until 2017. Why 2017? Well, 2017 is the year Stephen Strasburg is a free agent.

Needless to say, the Nationals will be one of the most interesting teams to watch this winter. A “super team” of sorts is definitely not out of the question.

For more on  Zack Greinke, check out Riley Schmitt’s column here.

Bryan is a featured writer for Rant Sports. Although he concentrates on MLB, you can see him covering a multitude of things across the Rant Sports Network.


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