As the Winter Meetings inch ever closer, the Washington Nationals laid down the groundwork for potential deals at the recently ended GM/Owners Meetings. We know Washington is probably going to be knee-deep in all kinds of trade rumors, as they have already been connected to David Price and Max Scherzer.
Aside from potential deals for starters, Washington also needs to fortify a bullpen that was less than balanced in 2013 as they broke camp with one lefty reliever in their bullpen. The team had confidence in their right-handed relievers as almost all of them have good numbers versus lefty hitters.
Of course, we know now Zach Duke did not work out in the bullpen, and even though Ian Krol, Fernando Abad and Xavier Cedeno showed they were able to get lefties out, they also showed that it would not hurt to have more than one lefty reliever that manager Matt Williams can trust and play matchups with.
With all these pitching related rumors swirling around, it’s pretty safe to ask, exactly how different Washington’s entire pitching staff may look? Washington will be connected to both Scherzer and Price until one or both is moved elsewhere. They also need a lefty reliever, and they may pursue another veteran reliever with closing experience as well.
We may also see one of the two bullpen stalwarts in Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen get dealt, as both are starting to get pricier via arbitration and Washington has shown they would prefer not to allocate big dollars to relievers. For all intents and purposes, Rafael Soriano may also get dealt with the amount of money he making, and the amount that is deferred to later years as well.
As good as it was in 2012, Washington’s bullpen was just as inconsistent in 2013, and there are some tweaks that will be made. Washington needs a few lefty relievers, and based on deals they make, they may need to add a veteran reliever from the right side to set up or close. Regardless of what moves are made, the only guarantee is that changes are coming.