While this season has been rough to say the least, the Washington Nationals would be wise to stick to their guns and stay quiet this trade season.
One move that the Nationals could make, which has garnered the most attention from experts and reporters alike, is a trade for a starting pitcher. While that would make an immediate impact on the team in 2013, it isn’t a necessary move for the 2014 season.
The Nationals currently have Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann all pitching well, and either one is capable of gem on any given night. Rarely can a team get two pitchers of that caliber, let alone three.
In 2014, they’ll have four pitchers of that caliber in the starting rotation if Taylor Jordan makes the big-league rotation. On Sunday, Jordan picked up his first career win after the Nationals defeated the New York Mets 14-1, throwing six one-run innings while striking out seven.
Next season, Ross Detwiler will become the “weakest link” — that is if his back heals and he can play. Dan Haren will be off the team’s books as his contract was for only one year. If the rotation goes Strasburg-Zimmermann-Gonzalez-Jordan-Detwiler, the Nationals will be looking like their postseason 2012 team again.
Besides the starting pitching, trading for a bench player may prove helpful. Outside of Steve Lombardozzi, the pinch-hitting for the Nationals has not been as strong as last season, but still has its moments. GM Mike Rizzo has already said that that is one area that the team could be looking to improve before July 31.
Aside from the starting pitchers, the Nationals have the other eight positions on the diamond set. Second baseman Anthony Rendon and center fielder Denard Span have both upgraded their respective positions from last year.
While many have criticized the 2013 Nationals, Rizzo has maintained his confidence in the team. If the great baseball mind of the Nats GM, the same man who put this team together, is still confident in the team, then so am I.