Ranking the Washington Nationals’ 5 Biggest Offseason Needs
Nationals Biggest Offseason Needs
It doesn’t matter if you won the World Series or had the worst record in baseball, every team has needs that they need to fill in the offseason.
You can find team needs all over the organization. Whether it’s strengthening the Major League roster or boosting the Minor League system, there are plenty of areas to improve. Who said it had to be the players? There are some teams that need upgrading in the front office and on the coaching staff, too.
The Washington Nationals are coming off of a 2013 campaign that left a lot to be desired. Two years ago, their season would have been labeled a success and a good sign of things to come. After they made the playoffs in 2012, it was instead labeled a failure and one of the biggest flops in the MLB.
While Washington still has a solid team, there are always areas for improvement and they have more than you may think. They have areas that need boosting, holes that need plugging, and perhaps a coach or two that needs to be replaced.
Many of these can be fixed simply by going to the free-agent market. This year, there is plenty of depth at the positions the Nationals need upgrading and Washington has plenty of financial ability to sign a big name player or two.
On the following five slides, you’ll find the five biggest offseason needs for the Washington Nationals. If they can manage to find some quality fixes for these five areas, they’ll put themselves in solid position to get back to their 2012 form.
5: Boosting Second Base
Anthony Rendon was a solid surprise for the Nationals in 2013 at third base, but he didn’t play nowhere near well enough to be the long term second baseman. Even if he did, he’s not expected to step into a career-long role at second base as he is the heir apparent to the throne currently held by Ryan Zimmerman at third base. Washington needs to take a look at strengthening second base and could either pursue Robinson Cano or Brian Roberts among others.
4: Finding a Third Base Coach
Trent Jewett is long gone and he leaves a gap at third base. Matt Williams needs to be very picky in finding his next third base coach because he is bringing an aggressive base-running philosophy to Washington and needs to make sure he get’s someone that will buy into it.
3: Finding a Fourth and Fifth Starter
The first three spots in the rotation are set with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez, but the backend of the rotation is a question mark. Already on staff you’ll find Ross Detwiler, Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan as possible candidates to become full-time starters in 2014. However, pursuing Ubaldo Jiminez on the free-agent market might not be a bad idea.
2: Strengthening the Bench
Washington needs some help in the area of pinch hitting. Aside from the occasional base hit by Steve Lombardozzi, the bench was not a bright spot. Chad Tracy’s contract is up and his future is up in the air and Scott Hairston didn’t make that much of an impact to make this not a area that needs improvement.
1: Boosting the Bullpen
A left-hander is badly needed in Washington’s bullpen. Currently, the Nationals have Fernando Abad, Ian Krol, Zach Duke and Xavier Cedeno in the ‘pen. While Abad (3.35) and Krol (3.95) had sub-4.00 ERA’s, they weren’t dominant enough to make Washington comfortable. On the market, you’ll find Oliver Perez, Boone Logan and JP Howell that will boost the left-handed relieving staff of the Nationals.