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Washington Nationals 2020 Outlook


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I'll preface this by saying I'm a Mets fan. But as a Mets fan, I'm very happy with the offseason the Nats have had. Some key moves:

- Strasburg 7/245

- Kendrick 1/6

- Harris 3/24

- Castro 2/12

All they have done is give old guys deals. Their farm system is ranked near the bottom on most prospect lists. They lost one of their best offensive players and currently have no one to fill the gap at 3B. Assuming it will end up being some combo / rotation of Castro, Difo, Kendrick, and Kieboom between 3B and 2B.

They haven't done anything to get younger. This just seems like a team that could go down quickly once the production of Scherzer and/or Strasburg start to decline.

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They are still after Donaldson.  But yeah they are now in basically the same situation the Red Sox were in when they won.  Both teams have some elite hitters some of whom are still young but there are still holes that are left after the champagne that have to be plugged short term with older guys on short contracts.  The Nats have a better rotation this year but isn't Max a free agent next? 

Anyway typical of most win it all teams maybe.  No team in baseball can sustain a dynasty for very long given the mega-contracts era needed for stars that then eat up a team's resources to field a complete 25 (now 26) man roster with really good players. 

It is how quickly they can come back out of the wilderness and compete again is the question.  That is how quickly you can rebuild without tearing everything down and starting over from scratch like non-contending poorer teams seem to have to do.  Champion teams have to do it on the fly and still put out a good competitive team in their down years because that is what is expected of them.  The Red Sox farm system is still weak but definitely in better shape than last year at the lower levels.  The Nats have to start rebuilding theirs now too from the bottom up.

Right now it is the Yankees and Dodgers 2020 season to lose barring massive injuries or an Astros surge.  The Dodgers seem to have a half step on a longer dynasty given their farm system but they still remain a bridesmaid until they break through and grab a ring.  I'm interested in how they both will deal with expiring contracts etc when their turns come.  Can the Dodgers keep up their farm in the years ahead? 

Also interested in Tampa Bay as they seem to keep creeping up into some sort of formula to compete with the big boys.  I don't think they can until they get support from a strong fan base because right now they basically have no home field advantage but are held hostage by that contract they signed with the Trop.  But give them a new locale like Montreal with a good ballpark and fans like these other 5 teams I mentioned and watch out.

Anyway I think the Nats if they land Donaldson may have one more elite year at the top and could legit go for a second ring with a little luck and Dodger injuries.  They still have a big three to pitch in the playoffs and a decent bullpen and those two factors are huge in post season play.  It is what happens to them post-Max that will be the tough part.

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6 hours ago, Sidearmer said:

I'll preface this by saying I'm a Mets fan. But as a Mets fan, I'm very happy with the offseason the Nats have had. Some key moves:

- Strasburg 7/245

- Kendrick 1/6

- Harris 3/24

- Castro 2/12

All they have done is give old guys deals. Their farm system is ranked near the bottom on most prospect lists. They lost one of their best offensive players and currently have no one to fill the gap at 3B. Assuming it will end up being some combo / rotation of Castro, Difo, Kendrick, and Kieboom between 3B and 2B.

They haven't done anything to get younger. This just seems like a team that could go down quickly once the production of Scherzer and/or Strasburg start to decline.

If you were the GM, what moves would you, or could you have made to get younger this offseason?

Edited by Topgun
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You, as a Mets fan, are glad that a division rival took steps to make their roster better during a window when the Mets could be competitive? 

You all are too enamored with prospects.

This Nats team is a world series threat again this year and has enough weapons where a little luck and some good signings could easily keep them competitive for the next five years. 

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2 hours ago, Hanghow said:

You, as a Mets fan, are glad that a division rival took steps to make their roster better during a window when the Mets could be competitive? 

You all are too enamored with prospects.

This Nats team is a world series threat again this year and has enough weapons where a little luck and some good signings could easily keep them competitive for the next five years. 

That wasn't how I read it.  I think what Sidearmer was saying is that he is happy about the Nats ' moves because they saddled themselves with a mega-contract to a pitcher with a lot of injuries in his past and some stop gap old guys were their only other moves so far.  In other words from the pov of a Mets fan, NOT a Nats fan, he is glad the Nats haven't really improved themselves.

 

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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I think the Nats have done a good job by adding young players to there 25 man roster the last few years, Soto, Robles, and now Kieboom this year, and Garcia next year. They has some pitching on the way, but need to develop even more like most team.The Rumors of THERE Demise Are Exaggerated

Edited by Topgun
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5 hours ago, Hanghow said:

You, as a Mets fan, are glad that a division rival took steps to make their roster better during a window when the Mets could be competitive? 

You all are too enamored with prospects.

This Nats team is a world series threat again this year and has enough weapons where a little luck and some good signings could easily keep them competitive for the next five years. 

 

The thing is, they haven't bettered themselves. They lost Rendon. They will be relying on several players repeating career years, majority of those older guys (Harris, Kendrick, Anibal, Strasburg). If everything goes as well as it did last year they still won't be as good. Instead of trying to rebuild the core they bought a bunch of old guys. Even this morning, after my original post, they have now signed Asdrubal Cabrera. By most projections they are well behind the Braves and Phillies, and many have them behind the Mets too.

7 hours ago, Topgun said:

If you were the GM, what moves would you, or could you have made to get younger this offseason?

 

1. Switch Strasburg with Rendon

2. Instead of signing Castro, Kendrick, and Harris, sign a starter for depth, someone like Dallas Keuchel.

3. Re-sign Zimmerman, the only old guy that would make sense for leadership and 1st base.

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Not sure what to make of this Nats team.

On paper, they look like a good shot to win the division. But, when looking deeper, the repeat of career years, lengthy season, short off-season, and the addition of mother time playing a role while taking into account some of these now older guys have an injury plagued history, it does begin to enter the mind that maybe.. just maybe this team is not as good as it appears.

Me personally? I think the Mets are the best team in the division. Now, that is super hypocrital of me to say because the only way the Mets are division winners is if many of their pitchers turn the clock back and have years like their pre-2019 seasons. I guess you cant have it both ways that the Nats older guys break down and the Mets excel? lol.

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  • 5 months later...

A tough but understandable decision if he decides not to play.  Family comes first and this would probably be his last year playing anyway.

Quote

Ryan Zimmerman wrote on his diary in the Associated Press that he's "still deciding whether to play" this season.

Zimmerman has a three-week-old baby and also a mother with multiple sclerosis who he refers to as "super high-risk," so it's understandable that he's wrestling with the decision. The 35-year-old re-signed with the Nationals on a one-year, $2 million contract over the offseason after being limited to just 52 games due to injury last year. If Zimmerman ultimately decides to sit out, it would open up more at-bats for Eric Thames and Howie Kendrick.

Source: Associated Press            Jun 26, 2020, 10:58 AM ET

If Zimmerman decides to hang them up will Eric Thames be the main guy at 1B for them now or would Howie Kendrick be big time in the mix?

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58 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

A tough but understandable decision if he decides not to play.  Family comes first and this would probably be his last year playing anyway.

If Zimmerman decides to hang them up will Eric Thames be the main guy at 1B for them now or would Howie Kendrick be big time in the mix?

I'd think they'd be giving Kendrick more chances if only to then free up space to use Kieboom on the left side of the infield.

 

Gotta imagine getting Kieboom into the lineup holds more promise than more ABs for Thames.

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