Washington Nationals Need To Keep It Simple At The Winter Meetings
A Chris Sale Deal Is Unnecessary
While Archer and Sale both are prolific names, the Nationals shouldn’t be prioritizing a starting pitcher; they already have a top tier rotation. With Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, Stephen Strasburg, and young arms such as Joe Ross, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito at their disposal, the Nationals shouldn’t be looking to upgrade their rotation.
Sale is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. While he would give Washington maybe the best rotation in baseball, he shouldn’t be the center of attention, same goes for Archer. If the Nationals prioritize getting a top tier pitcher, they’ll be trying to strengthen a strength, and while Chris Sale could do wonders for their rotation, he could potentially be a recipe for disaster.
For example, nearly two years ago, the Nationals signed Scherzer to a 7 year, $210 million deal, which was deferred over 14 years. While the reigning NL Cy Young award winner did give them the best rotation in baseball on paper, the Nats ultimately missed the playoffs.
Despite Scherzer having arguably the best statistical year of his career, the Nats weren’t wise to prioritize inking him over adding a top notch infielder. Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals decided to strengthen a strength, but it didn’t work in their favor. They should use this as a model to not pursue a top of the rotation pitcher such as Sale or Archer.
Instead of pursuing a trade for a top of the rotation arm such as Sale or Archer, the Nats should set their sights on locking down a center fielder as well as a closer, but Andrew McCutchen shouldn’t be viewed as a solution.