The Nationals and the Winter Meetings

Josh MarksIt’s that time of year again, baseball’s Winter Meetings. This annual event, held every December, is attended by General Managers and representatives from all 30 MLB organizations. It officially kicks off Monday, December 9th, as this is a time when some of the biggest, most surprising, and, most expensive moves are made.

We’ve seen a plethora of deals made in these last weeks, such as the Mariners locking up Cano, the Tigers dealing Fister, and the Yankees swiping Ellsbury.

Even with all of huge news as of late, don’t expect the Winter Meetings to be quiet. While some may think the Washington Nationals are pretty much done with off-season moves after trading for Fister and signing McLouth, think again. Here are a two pieces the National puzzle is missing.

1. Left-handed relievers. I am stressing this due to last season’s results. The Nats went in to the 2013 campaign with only one LHP in their bullpen. It didn’t work out as left-handed hitters crushed the club late in games. The Nationals received some aid midseason from lefties Ian Krol and Fernando Abad, but both players have been dealt this offseason. General Manager Mike Rizzo knows he can’t, and won’t, make this mistake again. Look for Rizzo to target players such as J.P. Howell, Eric O’Flaherty, Scott Downs, Boone Logan, and Wesley Wright. The team is in need of at least one situational lefty to shut down players like Freeman, Granderson, Votto, and Dom Brown.

2. Veteran off the bench. The team lacked team chemistry and leadership last year from the bench, and are lacking it even more at the moment. As of now, the backup catcher to Wilson Ramos is set to be Jhonatan Solano or Sandy Leon. Both players have very little MLB experience. The Nats will need an experienced catcher to backup Ramos, as well as to teach the younger players. Some possible candidates include Yorvit Torrealba, Ramon Hernandez, John Buck, and Kelly Shoppach. Don’t be surprised if they go out and get former Nat Kurt Suzuki as he can fit the role just fine.

As of now, the team is not missing any pieces from the starting lineup or rotation. However, final bench and bullpen tweaks are necessary. Heading into the Winter Meetings, look for Rizzo to make a move in these two categories.

It’s that time of year again, baseball’s Winter Meetings. This annual event, held every December, is attended by General Managers and representatives from all 30 MLBorganizations. It officially kicks off Monday, December 9th, as this is a time when some of the biggest, most surprising, and, most expensive moves are made. We’ve seen a plethora of deals made in these last weeks, such as the Mariners locking up Cano, the Tigers dealing Fister, and the Yankees swiping Ellsbury. Even with all of huge news as of late, don’t expect the Winter Meetings to be quiet. While some may think the Washington Nationals are pretty much done with off-season moves after trading for Fister and signing McLouth, think again. Here are a two pieces the National puzzle is missing.

 

1. Left-handed relievers. I am stressing this due to last season’s results. The Nats went in to the 2013 campaign with only one LHP in their bullpen. It didn’t work out as left-handed hitters crushed the club late in games. The Nationals received some aid midseason from lefties Ian Krol and Fernando Abad, but both players have been dealt this offseason. General Manager Mike Rizzo knows he can’t, and won’t, make this mistake again. Look for Rizzo to target players such as J.P. Howell, Eric O’Flaherty, Scott Downs, Boone Logan, and Wesley Wright. The team is in need of at least one situational lefty to shut down players like Freeman, Granderson, Votto, and Dom Brown.

 

2. Veteran off the bench. The team lacked team chemistry and leadership last year from the bench, and are lacking it even more at the moment. As of now, the backup catcher to Wilson Ramos is set to be Jhonatan Solano or Sandy Leon. Both players have very little MLB experience. The Nats will need an experienced catcher to backup Ramos, as well as to teach the younger players. Some possible candidates include Yorvit Torrealba, Ramon Hernandez, John Buck, and Kelly Shoppach. Don’t be surprised if they go out and get former Nat Kurt Suzuki as he can fit the role just fine.


As of now, the team is not missing any pieces from the starting lineup or rotation. However, final bench and bullpen tweaks are necessary. Heading into the Winter Meetings, look for Rizzo to make a move in these two categories.

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