The winter meetings have broke and the Nationals have earned a B on their report card. The star early in the show because of the mammoth contract given to Jayson Werth, in which opposing GMs’ were left bitter as their prospective free agents asking price had now become inflated. Also the Rule 5 draft yielded more depth to the pitching staff and the Nationals caught the attention of the free agent market. They were not the dominate force at the meetings, but made an early splash within the parameters of their plan.
The 600lb Gorilla was definitely the Boston Red Sox leading the meetings with the acquisition of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. They enhanced their line up to the point that an offensive explosion is expected. The Baltimore Orioles flew under the radar, and Mr. Showalter is preparing his club to take away wins from the Yankees and Red Sox. The Dodgers secured their pitching staff allowing them the ability to compete as they did last season just falling short of the playoffs. Finally the Chicago White Sox closed the deal to keep their star offensive player in town, as they locked down Konerko keeping their line up loaded with power along with the addition of Adam Dunn.
The top 5 performers of the Meetings that have their club ready to produce in 2011:
- Boston Red Sox A+
- Baltimore Orioles B+
- Chicago White Sox B+
- Washington Nationals B
- LA Dodgers B
The NL East failed to keep up with the Washington Nationals as the Florida Marlins and New York Mets lost major ground. The Nationals are primed to finally move out of the cellar, and may finish no worse than 3rd in the standings. There is still plenty of time before pitchers and catchers report to acquire a right handed starter to secure a true number one before the return of Strasburg in 2012. The Nationals seem poised to make only the moves that make sense to execute their plan engineered to bring a playoff appearance and championship to DC within the near future.
The Washington Nationals are building their club to both compete in 2011 and be a competitive force consistently in the future. Whereas some clubs like the Red Sox and Yankees are trying to win a championship next season, and they will worry about 2012 at the 2011 winter meetings. Other teams like the New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates are simply trying to manage payrolls to keep a reasonable budget. The question is (are you content with the effort of your club’s management?). Nationals’ fans need to commend the efforts of the Lerner group and Mike Rizzo because they have put a shot of adrenaline into this team and fan base that should leave us all excited for a more productive 2011 season.