MLB.com released their first power rankings of 2023 today. At 29th came the Washington Nationals, in which the site staff predicts to lead the league in losses again. The consensus from the site has the Nationals at 107 losses this season, which would give them just 55 wins on the campaign.
Now they were ranked ahead of the Oakland Athletics, if there is any solace in not being ranked last. However, MLB.com had the A’s at just 102 losses, so by official rankings, the Nationals would still be last.
This is likely do to the major additions the NL East has seen this offseason. This winter alone, the NL East has added: Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, Kodai Senga, Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Craig Kimbrel, Sean Murphy and more. And while the Nationals have had an active offseason compared to recent years, they have not made any moves to that caliber. So what was already one of the strongest divisions in baseball got even stronger. Bad news for the Nats hopes in 2023.
While it is a bit disheartening to think of the prospect of 107 losses, there can still be plenty to look forward to this year. Not to go into too many clichés, but the true measure of a successful season won’t be wins and losses, but rather how much progress we see out of players like Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz, CJ Abrams, Luis Garcia, MacKenzie Gore and more. They are the core that will decide how quickly we will be competitive again, and if they can use their divisional games against some of the best teams in baseball to hone their craft, then it will all be worth it. Iron sharpens iron.
That being said, it is in the Nationals best interest to perform well in the win column this season, as the highest they can potentially draft in 2024 is the 7th overall pick due to the MLB’s new lottery system and to prevent tanking. So if you know you’re already not going to have a top 3 pick, let alone top 6, then you might as well do everything to can to compete this season. There are still some quality free agents looking for homes…