THE NATIONALS RIGHT NOW
The Adam Eaton trade did two immediate good things to the offense and defense.
In the last three seasons, Eaton’s on-base percentages ranges from .360 to .362. He hits for triples and steals bases. With him on the team, the Nats can finally move Trea Turner to short and dump Danny Espinosa’s endless strikeouts and poor hitting out of the lineup.
As a right fielder, Eaton is a Gold Glover. Yes, you lose Espinosa’s ability at short, but Turner is a natural shortstop who can hold his own there. A net positive for both.
Washington is content to let newly acquired Derek Norris battle Pedro Severino for the Opening Day catching position. The money is still there to sign a Matt Wieters—if they cannot land Jensen—but Norris provides a low-risk and cheap alternative for next year.
The biggest hole left is at closer. They never chased Melancon in public. Washington had interest in Chapman and still does with Jansen. Dusty Baker told the press there were no real in-house options to close games. They must get somebody through free agency or trade to fill the role.
Even the optimist would tell you this be a work in progress, but better offensively.