DOLLARS AND SENSE
When the Rickets’ bought the Cubs and placed Epstein in charge of the Cubs, they opened the bank vaults.
Outside of Jason Heyward, Epstein has done a masterful job in spending smart money. See Zobrist as an example.
The Nats do not have an endless supply of money. With their complicated television deal with the Baltimore Orioles, they receive a certain amount of cash in a season and a growing ownership share of MASN. Because of the agreement between the Orioles and Major League Baseball, the Nationals will never own more than 1/3 of the channel.
Instead, Washington has to be more creative in how they spend money. Although they cannot compete with the glitz of Los Angeles and the mystique of New York, they can offer a competitive team in a growing market, provided the highest of salaries is deferred.
Although they can sign top talent such as Max Scherzer, the Nationals are not a destination team. They need to be frugal while playing competitive baseball.
With three divisional titles in five years, the Nats are doing something right.