Fixing the Nats

May 26, 2009

Tim Kurkjian wrote an article on Friday talking about how the Nats might actually have a future. Funny thing is, I was thinking all last week about ways to improve the team. Seriously, I was. Timmy didn’t steal my thunder by publishing a roadmap to the fix (other than wait for people to come up, trade Nick Johnson), he was talking more about the bright spots there now. I figured I’d take care of the roadmap by putting my thoughts on paper. Er, on screen. So, diving right in, is it possible to fix them? Well, not this year. The team can hit, and I still think there is a certain amount of correction in that bullpen, but they’re not a winning team. They could be, though, and one of the big reasons is their starting pitching. The young rotation is strong, and assuming they get Strasburg, it should look something like this going in to 2010:

Don’t get hung up on the order, that is more based on potential than how good they are now. In fact, if Detwiler continues to develop, the #6 overall pick in ’07 probably has more pure stuff than Zimmermann. Anyway, they have the starters. They also have the hitting. Currently 3rd in the NL in runs scored, they aren’t having problems on that end. But they need to take a few steps to make them more of a winner, and it can be done this offseason without sacrificing any of “the plan” to develop young talent from within:

  1. Spend $10 million and get a real bullpen. People say this is harder than it looks, and I’m sure it is. But there are guys out there that can throw. Some potential free agents are Kiko Calero, Octavio Dotel, Mike Gonzalez, John Grabow, Ron Mahay, Fernando Rodney, Scott Schoeneweis, Jose Valverde… there’s more than that, too. They need to get the right guys, but I submit that it can be done. Read the rest of this entry »