Washington Nationals: 5 Possible Spring Transactions
Five Small Scale Nats Moves
The Super Bowl is over, and now, between the talk of player legacies and what went wrong in a lopsided game, attention will slowly but surely turn to baseball. With the Arizona Diamondbacks a mere three days away from their report date, baseball is coming. It will creep up on us all very quickly, and I, for one, could not be more excited. After the moves the Washington Nationals have made this winter, there are many reasons to be excited for Nationals baseball to make its return after a disappointing 86-win season.
There will be almost as many new faces in Viera this year as there will be familiar ones, and things will be markedly different than years past. First off, new manager Matt Williams will definitely be conducting much more intense workouts based on both his managerial style and what his predecessor, Davey Johnson, did not do in Spring Training. Johnson saw the spring as more of a warm up period rather than the starting line where the team should be hitting the ground running which is probably what Williams considers Spring Training to be. Needless to say, this spring will be a very different and important period for the Nationals.
The Nationals are most likely finished with any major moves they could make between now and when their pitchers and catchers report. However, there are still some smaller scale moves the team could make. As with every team, tinkering and tweaking never really ends, and this could be the case for the Nationals this spring.
5. Nats Add Another Bench Bat
There are still some good bench bats available, and Jeff Baker could be a name the Nationals add. For a team with so many bench issues in 2013, they should stockpile as many bench players as they can. Expect many new faces coming off Washington's bench.
4. Drew Storen is Traded
The argument can be made that the Nationals have given Storen a raw deal since Game 5, and it is an argument that would be very hard to refute. If the Nationals feel they can get a solid return for Storen, do not be surprised if he is dealt before Opening Day. Besides, a change of scenery could really help him.
3. Ross Detwiler is Traded in Favor of Younger Starters
Detwiler has shown some very useful versatility as he has been able to start and relieve on the fly for Washington. But with names like Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan, Nate Karns and A.J. Cole along with Lucas Giolito, there is a chance that the Nationals may capitalize on the former No. 6 overall pick's versatility and deal him. Plus, Washington obviously has the depth to absorb it.
2. Denard Span is Dealt in Favor of Brian Goodwin
Span is going to be on the hot seat in 2014 regardless of his almost 30-game hitting streak to close out an otherwise disappointing offensive 2013. If Brian Goodwin, a non-roster invite to Spring Training, plays well, it would not be surprising to see Span traded. He has an affordable option, so the team acquiring him could get basically two more years of Span, and Washington could stand to save about $16 million in favor of a younger player with more upside.
1. Prospect Makes Roster at Expense of Veteran
Spring Training is not only a means of warming up players, but it is also a showcase for prospects. With that in mind, don't be shocked if the Nationals break camp with a prospect or two making the roster. The chances of Goodwin jumping Span has already been mentioned, so if a Matt Skole is able to make the roster with his left-handed power bat and ability to play first and third base in a pinch it would not be a total shock. The likelihood, however, is probably slim.