If the season started this week, this is what the Nationals Opening Day line up could look like. You can’t be comfortable going into Spring Training with Alberto Gonzalez and Danny Espinosa has your only two options for second base. GM Mike Rizzo has added Chris Marrero to the roster this off season. He spent last year at Double A Harrisburg. For the Senators he hit .294, 18 home runs and 82 RBIs in 141 games. I would not be surprised to see him starting first base for the Nats this season. Even further I would not be surprised if he started Opening Day at first. Mark it.
As for second base, Rizzo has to try and find a veteran to come in or will have to ride it out with Gonzalez and Espinosa. Now the reason I am calling out Marrero for first base and not someone like Mike Morse is because Rizzo has already said Morse is not being considered for the starting first baseman role.
Nyger Morgan 8
Ian Desmond 6
Ryan Zimmerman 5
Jayson Werth 9
Josh Willingham 7
Ivan Rodriguez 2
Chris Marrero 3
Alberto Gonzalez 4
I am not even going to touch on starting pitching right now. The rotation could see a major overhaul here in the next couple weeks. Rizzo did say the signing of Jayson started Phase 2 of the Nationals plan. Apparently Phase 1 was building a system and drafting the right guys. Phase 2 is all about winning games and eventually championships.
Oh, I know a lot of you guys don’t like the idea of Morgan in center field. But at this point Rizzo says they are going into Spring Training with Morgan as the starter.
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The Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo says this is a monumental day for the Nationals organization. And indeed it is. Only days after Washington saw their slugging first baseman pack his bags and head to the windy city, they have signed another big bat for their lineup.
Dubbed the most attractive free agent not named Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth was coming out of Philadelphia finally living up to his 5-tool projections.
The Nationals will give Werth $126 million over seven years. When his contract is finally up, Werth will be 38 years old. Amazing any team would give a 31 year-old a seven year deal.
The thing to remember here is Werth is not the savior. This Nationals are still at least two years away from winning with Stephen Strasburg missing next year and Bryce Harper probably not ready until 2012/13. But when you combine Werth with Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Mike Morse and company they will have a good core group for years to come. Willingham could become disposable with Harper coming up and Roger Bernadina able to play outfield. And play it well.
The Werth signing does not make the Nationals a playoff team, not even close. But it does take a lot of the pressure off Zimmerman, who I am sure has been feeling it when Adam Dunn was not resigned.
Rizzo says right now they have Werth penciled in to hit middle of the order and play right field. He hinted to the fact it was still early in the offseason so things could change. Are the Nationals really looking at another signing? Highly unlikely.
However, I do agree, it is still early. Things could a lot more exciting from here on out.
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