Washington Nationals: Breaking Down The Winter Meetings

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Oct 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) looks on from the dugout before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) looks on from the dugout before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Staff Contributor Robbie Stratakos:

With Day 2 of the Winter Meetings coming to a close, the Washington Nationals have gone silent yet again, mostly due to losing out on the Chris Sale sweepstakes. Despite offering two of their top prospects, the Nationals weren’t able to land Sale; however, they weren’t necessarily in desperate need of a top tier starter, and really need to regroup by focusing on what they are actually in need of- an outfielder and a closer.

The Nationals are reportedly yet again, engaging in talks with the Pirates for All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen, but is it really in their best interest? The Pirates could potentially make the Nationals give up more than they were originally asking for a few days ago, due to the Nationals current desperation. The potential for trade robbery should lead the Nationals to pursue other options in terms of outfielders, such as White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton.

While the White Sox and Nationals couldn’t come to an agreement on a Chris Sale deal, both sides could still agree on a different deal. With the White Sox signaling that they’re heading towards a rebuild, nearly anyone is available via trade, and Eaton is one of their more available players; he could be the Nationals everyday center fielder, and he would require a much smaller trade package  than McCutchen.

In terms of their bullpen, the Nationals don’t need to go all out for an Aroldis Chapman or a Kenley Jansen. While it may not be the sexiest of moves, the Nationals should keep it simple in terms of late inning relief, and target former Royals closer Greg Holland and Red Sox setup man Brad Ziegler. Both relievers would help add to what already is a deep and very versatile bullpen.

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