Washington Nationals players and fans are a proud bunch for good reasons. They are recent champions and have a good little history of winning going well for them. That is why I figure they would never say the word “rebuild”. At the same time however they wouldn’t be consistent contenders of GM Mike Rizzo was completely unwilling to change things up when the need arises. It looks more and more like they won’t be playing in October this season. Considering that, there will probably be quite a few differences in this team when spring training breaks next season.
For starters, no pun intended, pitcher Dan Haren is thought to be probably moving on. The rumors are that he wants to be near his family is California anyway but the Nats probably aren’t willing to pay him a dozen or so million for this season’s work even if he continues to finish strong. That is one difference that will make a big difference depending on who they tap to fill that spot.
There are other free agents of course as well as questions as to who will play daily second base next season outside of the leadership of Davey Johnson. Johnson is retiring after this season and whoever takes over is sure to put their own spin on this team as well. One thing that will likely change no matter who manages is the first baseman. Adam LaRoche hasn’t been nearly this year what he was last year but he should still be tradable because he plays very good defense at first and does have power potential from time to time.
Questions about Denard Span are hovering around as well and the Nats could do something with outfield changes if they chose to. The moves that are made will likely be both big and small in certain ways but it would be a good bet that Rizzo makes sure to at least do what he can to improve the 2014 team before they even get to February’s festivities.