The Washington Nationals‘ 2013 season can be compared to that of a Thanksgiving turkey — stick a fork in them, they are done.
Washington is now 15.5 games back of the complete powerhouse that is the Atlanta Braves and are nine games back in the Wild Card. Needless to say, this nightmare season that was 2013 will most likely be ending on September 29. For now, Washington needs to simply grind out games and try to win as many as they can, and perhaps make a move or two in preparation for 2014.
Of course, the non-waiver trade deadline went down without Washington making any deals. As we all know, GM Mike Rizzo does not like to acquire rental players, opting for players already who are cost-controlled, a la Kurt Suzuki and Scott Hairston to name a few recent deals.
Yesterday, it was reported that Washington placed the one-year, $13 million bust that is Dan Haren on waivers, meaning that any team can claim him and Washington can opt to trade him to the claim-winning team or pull him back and keep him for the remainder of the season.
Sadly, this is too little, too late for Washington. It’s obvious Rizzo is trying to capitalize on Haren’s solid pitching as of late, as he’s allowed just six earned runs combined over his last three starts, but what difference does it make? The sad facts of the season are right in front of them, and Haren is obviously not part of the team’s long-term plans.
In my opinion, Washington should have released Haren rather than placing him on the DL, which made no sense at the time. Washington could have just let him go, eaten his remaining salary and given a guy like a Taylor Jordan or someone like him the rest of the year to see if he can be in Washington’s 2014 rotation, or even be trade bait for a bigger-name pitcher to take that same spot.
Haren being placed on waivers is simply a microcosm of Washington’s season, which is just too little, too late in every sense of the expression.