Washington Nationals: Handicapping The Race For Closer

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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THE FIELD- 100-1

You never know what Rizzo has up his sleeve with deals, but we are making the safe bet that the 2017 closer is already on the Nationals and is one of the pitchers.

Of course a Joe Blanton or Sammy Solis might surprise or Alex Colome, David Robertson or a wild card could steal the job, but we are well into Spring Training. To pull off a shocker at this point would equal a No. 2 seed falling at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in the first round.

On paper, sure. Reality tells a different tale.

The three clubhouse leaders—to keep mixing in those sports metaphors—have not changed. Unless one gets hurt, the chances of a major move now are slim.

But, not impossible. As with the Matt Wieters signing, if the price of an arm fall enough, either in cash or prospects, the Nats are not afraid to pull the trigger. The mantra is win now. If Dellin Betances falls in their lap, the deal is done, yesterday.

Still, the conventional wisdom from the off-season stands today. Washington will go internally until it proves not to work. Then, around the trade deadline if needed, the Nats make a deal and grab a closer for October as they did with Mark Melancon.

Not ideal, but sausage making is ugly, anyway.