Are The Washington Nationals Still Standing Around The Slow Burning MLB Hot Stove...?

Top 3 Questions Still Unanswered With The Nationals' '09 Season Set To Start...

1. Is That It?

I understand everyone's argument that Scott Olsen and Daniel Cabrera are an improvement over Odalis Perez and Tim Redding, and I agree, while also believing the addition of left fielder Josh Willingham will provide a boost to an anemic offense, but after deciding that Mark Te - - - - ra was just what Washington needed and having the free agent first baseman spurn the Nationals' advances, DC turned their sights toward Adam Dunn, who, as of yet, hasn't accepted whatever offer is on the table to draw him to the nation's capital, and a team, which, even with Dunn in the lineup, is predicted to finish last in the NL East, or next to last at best. So is that it? Tex chose NY, Dunn's waiting for someone to want him and Manny Ramirez doesn't understand why no one does...Are the Washington Nationals willing to bet that they were just a few injuries, (well, a lot of injuries, really, but still), 3 or 4 more wins out of their starters and Willingham's 75 RBI's away from competing? But without shipping out multiple players...Where else do the Nationals have room to add to the roster? Certainly not the outfield...I'm tired of building years...

2. Who Plays First?

Let's see if I can't find the latest news on Nick Johnson...The last I read the name Nick Johnson in the news, it was in an article by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Nationals interested in Nady, Swisher", where Mr. Ladson wrote that, "The team feels that it cannot rely on Johnson because of his injury problems," or maybe it was Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's Nationals Journal post entitled, "Nick Johnson, Hope, Luck", where Mr. Harlan reported that Johnson's injured wrist, (which ended his '08 season), wasn't yet completely healed, but should be in time for Spring Training...and we know that the Nationals made a public offer for one free agent first baseman, and expressed an interest in another, (who'd prefer to play the outfield but was still seen as an option to replace Johnson at first), but as of today, Nick Johnson is the player on the Nationals' roster most likely to start the season at first, with the only other options being, a suddenly-healthy Dmitri Young, Ronnie Belliard, Kory Casto, a converted Josh Willingham, or Chris Marrero, a prospect who'd be playing his first games above Class-A...You know I'm happy with Nick Johnson, but the Nationals weren't...and still...

3. Who Plays Where In The Outfield?

Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes will battle it out in center...no word on where the loser of the battle ends up, but Josh Willingham thinks he was brought to DC to play left field, and Austin Kearns has an arm made for right field, the defense to earn the spot, and the kind of bat that has the team wondering if the loser of the battle for center isn't just moved over to right...Of course, in each of the last two seasons the Nationals have lost an outfielder on Opening Day...Nook Logan in 2007 and Dukes last season, so it'll probably pay to have a few extra outfielders around, but how are you going to find enough at bats for all these players if they're healthy?

(ed. note - "And I didn't even get to mention the bullpen, or the back end of the starting rotation...What do you think are the biggest questions still facing the Washington Nationals? Will they make any moves before Spring Training ends? Are you entertaining any ideas of the Nationals competing? Alright, Start the week off with an easy task, ask yourself, "What's the biggest question facing the Nationals right now, today?")

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