Washington Nationals: 3 takeaways from Winter Meetings

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: General Manager Mike Rizzo (R) of the Washington Nationals talks to team owner Mark Lerner during batting practice before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on July 31, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: General Manager Mike Rizzo (R) of the Washington Nationals talks to team owner Mark Lerner during batting practice before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on July 31, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images) /
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OBSERVING IS GOOD

By now, you know Mike Rizzo is one shrewd general manager.

Because he did not create major headlines, do not assume the brain trust flew down to Miami for the Monday Night Football game between the Dolphins and New England Patriots. That was Derek Jeter, new Marlins owner.

Instead, Rizzo took stock of the increasing prices of bullpen and starting pitching help. How far talks went with Scott Boras for Arrieta remains to be seen. It is not a surprise J.D. Martinez’s name came up in conversation.

With the Colorado Rockies filling their bullpen needs, along with watching which prospects moved in the few trades made, Rizzo comes back to Washington with a sense of where costs are and the best way to fill needs.

Although Washington has holes, the difference between this and last year is the Nats think they addressed their biggest one in changing the coaching staff. A top starter is nice, but they carry potentially four already.

Patience works to Washington’s advantage. With a projected payroll now at $174 million for Opening Day, the Nats must spend whatever is left wisely. This is a “cat and mouse” game now and Rizzo is one of he best cats out there.

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