Washington Nationals: Learning From The Chicago Cubs
When you examine the full record, the team construction used in Boston and Chicago by Theo Epstein led to success.
The general manager when the Sox ended their 86 years of frustration in 2004, it is his 2007 squad that bears his fingerprints like this year’s champions.
The Sox team that swept the Colorado Rockies was built around a core of drafted homegrown players with the right mix of free agents and traded players to make it work. Same with the current Cubs. Epstein put players around Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant who had winning experience.
When they needed to make a trade, as they did for Aroldis Chapman, they had the pieces to do it.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is in the same position. By drafting well the last few years, Washington is developing their own core with enough prospects hanging around to get deals done.
They held on to Trea Turner and Lucas Giolito to score Mark Melancon for the playoffs. Washington has good options at most positions with developing talent ready to step in.
Not every free agent deal works, ask Jason Heyward and Ben Revere, but Rizzo’s ability to mix and match talent has the Nationals in the same zip code as the Cubs.