Staff Contributor Chris Lacey:
The Washington Nationals struck out not once, but twice during the Winter Meetings in their attempt to sign reliever Mark Melancon and trade for starting pitcher Chris Sale.
It does look bad they whiffed, but there are still moves to be made. It’s highly unlikely they will sign either Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen as both relievers will command a high salary.
The second-tier market for bullpen arms is flush with candidates the Nationals can go after such as Wade Davis, Brad Ziegler, Neftali Feliz, and Greg Holland.
The club may still have one big move left considering that OF Andrew McCutchen is still available from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
If the cost for McCutchen is still too high, they can turn to the free agent market to get an outfielder.
The idea of adding Sale would have bolstered the rotation, but it would have been hard to top the offer that was presented by the Boston Red Sox.
One positive going forward is the Nats still have their prospects and moves can be made with other clubs.
The team didn’t feel confident in giving up too much for Sale, and you can’t fault them for being hesitant.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and his staff will be working hard throughout this week as they look for ways to improve the team.