Washington Nationals: Top Five Offseason Storylines To Watch

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Oct 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker walks into the dugout prior to game five of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker walks into the dugout prior to game five of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Aug 15, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Mark Melancon (43) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Nationals defeated the Rockies 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Re-signing Mark Melancon Needs To Be A Priority

At the trade deadline, Rizzo went out and got the dominant closer that the Washington Nationals needed when he traded for Pirates reliever Mark Melancon. In DC, Melancon went 17-for-18 in saves, had a 1.82 ERA, and did not give up a run in three postseason appearances.

The Washington Nationals have found their closer, but will they be able to keep him? The 31-year-old right-hander is a free agent this winter. With teams always looking for closers, Melancon will be in high demand because of his consistency over the last few seasons.

Since the Washington Nationals won’t be giving Ramos a lucrative deal, they could spend some of that money and put it on Melancon to give them a big advantage in the ninth inning. If they can’t re-sign Melancon, other dominant closers that will be free agents are Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.

The bullpen ended up being one of the best in the National League in terms of ERA. While they have a reliever who could become the closer down the road in Koda Glover as well as an experienced veteran in Shawn Kelley, having a dominant closer can help the Nats take the next step in 2017.

Next: Three Takeaways From NLDS Game 5 Loss

Washington Nationals fans, we want to hear from you. What is the storyline you are keeping an eye on this winter? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.

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