Well I’ll just say this: this offseason was so much better for the Nats unlike last offseason. Major additions and upgrades were made. The Nationals still might not have re-signed Bryce Harper yet (fingers crossed), but don’t worry, the Nationals are still looking like playoff contenders in a now very competitive NL East (the Marlins being the only exception).
Let’s now take a look at a wild offseason for the Nationals.
The Nationals went out and signed a lot of free agents and made some trades. This crazy offseason started off with the Nationals acquiring relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins in exchange for international pool money on October 10. The Nationals then signed reliever Trevor Rosenthal (who hasn’t played since 2016) for one year, with an option to rejoin in 2020. Their first major free agent signing was the return of catcher Kurt Suzuki for two years on November 20th. Ten days later, the Nationals acquired catcher Yan Gomes in a trade with the Cleveland Indians. The biggest acquisition happened on December 7th, when the Nats signed all-star starting pitcher Patrick Corbin for 6 years. On the 12th of December, the Nationals acquired minor league reliever Tanner Rainey from the Cincinnati Reds. On December 18th, first baseman Matt Adams re-signed with the team for one year. The Nationals added another big piece to the rotation on December 27th by adding veteran Anibal Sanchez for two years. The final major acquisition was signing free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier for a season on January 13th.
Last season, catcher was one of the biggest weaknesses for the Nationals. It was a rotation between Matt Wieters, Pedro Severino, and Spencer Kieboom. That honestly just wasn’t enough last season as Wieters is old, Severino is inconsistent, and Kieboom isn’t the player he advertised himself as in the minors. The Nats went out and signed Kurt Suzuki and traded for Yan Gomes. Gomes was the starter last season for the Indians, while Kurt Suzuki is consistently ranked one of the top ten catchers in the league. What has been the biggest issue for the Nationals the last five years? The majority of fans would say bullpen, and I agree. The bullpen consistently was awful in 2015 and 2016. But it improved slightly in 2017 with the acquisition of Sean Doolittle. The Nationals surely focused on bullpen with the acquisitions of Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal, and Tanner Rainey.
What to Expect the Roster to Look Like
The starters should like this: expect Gomes to catch. The infield will most likely look like Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Dozier playing second base, Anthony Rendon at third base, and Trea Turner playing shortstop. In the outfield, NL ROY candidate (should’ve won) Juan Soto will play left, star prospect Victor Robles should play center field, with Adam Eaton playing right field (or Bryce Harper assuming they re-sign him). The order of the rotation should like like Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Corbin, Sanchez, and then for the fifth starter, either Joe Ross (coming off Tommy John surgery) or Erick Fedde (who has been inconsistent in his appearances the last two seasons. Sean Doolittle should be the closer, with Kyle Barraclough and Trevor Rosenthal rotating as the eighth inning pitcher.