"I'm excited to see Denard play and see what he brings to the table day in and day out," the Nats' third baseman said. "And what I've seen so far, he's exactly what we needed." Span was the Nationals' big acquisition last winter, acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Twins in exchange for right-handed prospect Alex Meyer. The Nats also signed Dan Haren to fill out the back end of the rotation. Haren struggled to match expectations, while Span started slow but finished strong in his first season in the nation's capital.
This time around, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo made two big trades and signed a free agent for the bench. He went out and got a starter, Doug Fister, in a three-for-one trade with the Detroit Tigers, bolstered the bullpen when he traded for Oakland A's lefty Jerry Blevins and then signed Nate McLouth to back up in the outfield and fill in when necessary.
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Zimmerman said today, when he once again appeared on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, that he was impressed with the moves the Nationals have made to improve the roster after an 86-win season in 2013:
"I think we're very fortunate and we have a very core group of players that are all coming back. I think the Fister trade was excellent to kind of add some depth to an already really good rotation. He's done a lot to improve our bench and I still think he's working on one or two things to make it even better. But, we have a good team here. And I think last year, obviously things didn't go the way that we wanted them to go, but I think we learned a lot from last year and we're going to use that to our advantage this year and hopefully get back on track and do some special stuff."
"I have a good feeling about this year," Zimmerman continued. "I think it's going to be special."
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