Washington Nationals: Ranking the team’s remaining needs this offseason

bfinney
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: General manager Mike Rizzo looks on during batting practice before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on April 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: General manager Mike Rizzo looks on during batting practice before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on April 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 6
Next
Washington Nationals
(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

1st – Starting Pitching

Adding another starter is by far and away the top need remaining for the Washington Nationals this offseason. After the trade of Tanner Roark at the Winter Meetings, they now need to acquire at least one more pitcher, if not two.

The Nats currently boast one of the top trios at the top of their rotation right now in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. However, after those three, there are a lot of question marks that leave a bit of uncertainty.

Joe Ross is the most likely internal candidate to be in the major league rotation come Opening Day next season. But even then, he’s coming off a season in which he was eased back in after his Tommy John procedure and it will be difficult to rely on him as the fourth starter in the rotation.

That’s where the need comes in, as even in a best-case scenario, Ross will give you a solid fourth or fifth option, leaving one spot remaining. While the likes of Erick Fedde, Kyle McGowin and Austin Voth had flashes of promise, it’s clear they still need a bit more seasoning in the minors.

After the Roark deal, it was thought that a move to fill that hole would be imminent, but nothing emerged. The trade now appears to be a cost-saving maneuver as they hope to acquire someone with similar production but on a cheaper contract so they can invest the money elsewhere.

The Nationals could also look to add a second starter, but that may well come from signing someone to a minor league contract, just as they did for Jeremy Hellickson. That would then allow them to compete with Ross for the final rotation spot or give the team depth just in case of an injury.

Names to watch: Mike Fiers, Wade Miley, Anibal Sanchez, Drew Pomeranz

facebooktwitterreddit