MLB Offseason Preview: Washington Nationalsby Joe Chambers November 30, 2021 0 comments
The Washington Nationals were at the bottom of the National League East in 2021 as they finished with a 65-97 record. The 2019 World Series Champions underperformed in 2021. Even though Juan Soto led the team in home runs, batting average, runs, and runs batted in. They lost two key players in Max Scherzer and Trea Turner via trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers midway through the season. Losing these two outstanding players did not help their case at being in the race for the NL East and postseason play. With Ryan Zimmerman and Alex Avila being two players going on the free agency market, the Nationals look to recover from 2021 and become a force to be reckoned with in 2022.
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The offseason for the Nationals will be interesting to see play out. With Scherzer signing a three-year deal with the New York Mets on November 29, the chance of getting him to rejoin the team is ruined. The Nationals may want to look for pitching and some infield players in the offseason. Replacing Scherzer and Turner will not be easy whatsoever, but looking for their replacements will be key. They should be aiming at signing a free agent that compares highly to Scherzer to regain that pitching for 2022. Thankfully, there are some great potential signings that they can go after who can fill in and play that part.
Keys to the Offseason
Sign a Big-Name Pitcher in Free Agency
Pitching is a constant struggle for every team in baseball. Some teams use the farm system to get their pitchers and some use free agency to spend their money on players. The Nationals should have enough money to spend for a key pitcher. The focus should be targeting a starting pitcher who can make an instant impact.
Sign an Infielder in Free Agency
This infielder does not have to be some big-name player, but preferably someone who can be in the starting lineup for Opening Day. This player should be decent in every category. Some teams focus on players who are good at that one trait, but for the Nationals, they can focus on someone who does a decent job in every area.
Clayton Kershaw, 33, Starting Pitcher
Kershaw would be a great addition to the starting pitching rotation. Even though he does not have the highest velocity, he has great control. His curveball is still elite and he brings a winning pedigree back to the team. The game flows off of the starting pitchers and if you cannot locate your pitches from the start, the game may consist of playing catch-up with the opposing team. Kershaw has the capability of bringing wins to this organization from the start and is also great at not giving up a lot of runs. He has a market value of $31 million.
Marcus Stroman, 30, Starting Pitcher
Stroman is another potential pickup the Nationals could grab for 2022. With a market value of $21 million, if the Nationals cannot grab Kershaw, Stroman will not be a bad second choice. The 30-year-old is in the prime of his playing career and can fill many of the Nationals’ needs right away. The former New York Met is excellent at keeping the ball on the ground. If signed by the Nationals, this acquisition could result in the team limiting runs scored in regards to starting pitchers. It also doesn’t hurt to take a player from a division rival.
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