Positions of Need
LF- Why are the Nats still holding on to past years glory. It’s time for the team to move on from Werth and begin to look towards the future. He was still somewhat productive with 24 home runs but drove in a measly 69 RBIs while batting .244. Add to the fact that he is on the wrong side of 36, it’s time for the team to go younger.
Closer- Pap was a head case, plain and simple. Now, with the issue that Stephen Strasburg has had I don’t see why they can’t turn him into a closer. It will cut down on his innings and keep his arm fresh. The Nats must make all attempts to resign Mark Melancon or put the full court press on Kenley Jansen.
Colby Rasmus- Why not? He’s 7 years younger than Werth with the same production and most importantly, he’s cheaper. Rasmus hit .206 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in a season where his health played a role in the decline. If Rasmus can manage roughly 150 games, with this Nats offense he could see a serious uptake in performance. He’s worth the risk.
Kenley Jansen- If you want to be the best then you must surround yourself with the best. Chapman is the best reliever in the game but the Cubs will not let him go quietly into the night. The Nationals need a closer, not just any closer but one their starters knows will have their backs when need be. So many games are won and lost after the 8th inning and to know that the bullpen is light out, will do wonders for a pitcher’s confidence. Jansen is the guy the Nats must attack.
Possible Trade Pieces
Jayson Werth- He doesn’t fit into the Nationals plans anymore and should be dealt to see what teams are in need of an average outfielder who has both good and bad days at the plate.
Stephen Strasburg- He has had his moments and can still be a reliable pitcher but his days of being an ace is over. Every season it’s something else with his arm or shoulder and it’s time for the Nats to see what his trade market value is. It will hurt to see him go but if they can possibly get two young arms in return it will be worth it.
If the Nationals can cut the dead weight that is Werth and get some value in return then they have a great shot at the NLCS nest season. If the team can get a resurgence that Strasburg will be healthy to pitch a full season then he is worth keeping around. While there are teams looking to make a deal to stay relevant, the Nats have the majority of the pieces in place to make another run without gutting their lineup. Their main issue of concern is the Closer role. If they can persuade Jansen that the grass is greener in DC, expect the Washington Nationals to be heavy favorites entering the 2017 season. My bold prediction is that the team will stand pat and not make any moves and roll the dice with what they have.
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