Grading the Fake Nationals Performance
This is like going back to school again when the teacher asks you to grade your own work. I’d love to give myself an A+ for my performance in revamp the Washington Nationals and go to bed happy. However, that wasn’t the case.
Things that went well
With the loss of Bryce Harper, this one was much easier, but being able to stay well clear of the luxury tax threshold. The final $194.5 million luxury tax figure, including 40-man roster and estimated player benefits, was $11.5 million shy of the $206 million luxury tax threshold in 2019.
We were also able to construct this roster while only losing one particularly highly rated prospect in Seth Romero. Even then, he’s hardly in the good books right now after Spring Training discipline and in rehab for Tommy John surgery, so he was no huge loss. We do lose a draft pick in the acquisition of Dallas Keuchel, but that upgrade was necessary.
Things that didn’t go well
The one regret from the whole simulation is not being able to acquire a frontline catcher and it’s not even close. Entering the fake season with the same catching tandem as last season is far from ideal, despite their surge towards the end of 2018. Some of that was us not being willing to fork out for Yasmani Grandal, some of it was down to the unresponsiveness of GMs, namely the Marlins.
If I’m being overly critical, it would’ve been nice to net a better left-handed first baseman and a better fourth starter. That’s nothing against Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison, but in the end, they do underwhelm a little bit. If we had gotten Robbie Ray, it would’ve made the fake Nats rotation arguably one of the best in fake baseball, but Lynn was a nice consolation.
The Final Grade
Being able to hit on all but the catching upgrade from the initial checklist is pretty good going. It’s also easier to stomach when you realize that production from those behind the plate is down across the league. So overall I’ll give myself a B+ for the way it panned out, but feel free to comment with your own grade, as a more objective point of view.