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

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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) /
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Washington Nationals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

3rd – Second Base

Some may be surprised at second base being third on the list of remaining priorities for the Washington Nationals. However, there’s one reason for that and it’s Carter Kieboom.

The highly-rated prospect doesn’t appear to be far from major league ready after he impressed between High-A and Double-A in 2018. Nats fans could see him play in the big leagues as soon as this summer, or September at the very latest.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to think that the Nationals could survive with the Howie Kendrick and Wilmer Difo combination until that time. At least, they’re more likely to survive with those two at second than they are with the current bullpen setup, hence this ranking.

Now, that’s not to say they shouldn’t upgrade at the keystone, especially when the market is loaded with options that can help improve the team in the short-term. However, the Nats should be selective if and when they do pick up someone for that position.

Any player they sign would either need to be willing to take a one-year deal in order to not block Kieboom, or have plenty of positional versatility. It will be interesting to see how long the market takes to develop, but given the reported interest in some of the names, it’s clearly on Mike Rizzo’s shopping list.

If the Nats do end up acquiring a second baseman, then they could potentially sport one of the most complete lineups in the league. There wouldn’t be a single weak link other than the pitcher’s spot, which is a tempting proposition.

Names to watch: Josh Harrison, Jed Lowrie, Brian Dozier

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