District On Deck Writers Answer Four Questions Before Spring Training
By Max Rayman
With less than a month before Spring Training, the Nationals have filled out most of their roster. Mike Rizzo and company have once again risen to the occasion and were able to field another competitive team. After all of the team’s flurry of moves, District On Deck’s writers got together to answer four questions the team is facing before Spring Training.
Are you happy with the team’s offseason moves?
James: I am. I believe the Nationals made quality moves without breaking the bank or over-committing themselves to the future. We still don’t know what the on-the-field product will look like. I trust the team will be competitive, though if they are not, the Nats have a lot of expiring contracts at the end of the season, allowing them to take the team in a different direction.
The Nationals had a lot of holes to fill, and they were the team with the most open 40-man roster spots at one point early in the offseason. In what turned out to be a slow-moving market, the Nationals were able to bring in two power bats (one via trade), a veteran pitcher for the backend of the rotation, and solid bullpen help. And the face of the franchise is back as well.
There are teams out there who have signed just one, two, lesser know free agents. The Nationals were active in free agency and showed the fan base they want to get back to October baseball.
Ben: I would say I feel content with the job Mike Rizzo and his staff have done this offseason, but I definitely think the offense is still another bat away from being a legitimate threat not only in the NL East but the entire NL. There are still some question marks, but this team should be a force especially when you have arguably the best hitter and pitcher in baseball on your team.
Max: Absolutely! Heading into the off-season, Washington needed a first baseman, corner outfielder, fourth starter, bullpen depth, backup catcher, and infield depth. Mike Rizzo responded by adding/re-signing Josh Bell, Ryan Zimmerman, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Brad Hand, Alex Avila, and Josh Harrison. This is a quality haul, especially due to the fact that Rizzo didn’t have much cap room to work with (seeing how ownership wanted to stay under the tax).
Questions still remain at third base, but I still have faith in Carter Kieboom putting it all together. He has been unfairly bashed by the fanbase for his slow start. However, the team has yet to give him the full opportunity he deserves.