PEERING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL
The first goal is returning to the playoffs. It is hard to see—unless there is no set closer to start the season—how the Mets are eight games better than last year or Miami can sustain anything over a full season. Although it will be harder, Washington remains the best team in the division. The title is there’s to lose.
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Is it enough to burst into the NL Championship Series? Eaton’s bat over Espinosa’s will help. As usual, who stays healthy and what fixes will happen after the All-Star Break will tell us more.
Remember, Eaton is here to shove the Nats over the top. Until we know who is closing, it really is impossible to say this is a championship team. If Bryce Harper is to earn a future $400 million on the open market, he must return to his 2015 form. A full 200 innings from Stephen Strasburg helps too.
To say this team is better than the Chicago Cubs is untrue. Although Eaton fills a huge hole, uncertainty at catcher and no closer does not give Washington that bump.
The offseason runs through February. Perhaps the focus of what this team can do is clearer.