There's a reason there has been a lot of talk about the Washington Nationals having a two-year window to win it all and it doesn't all have to do with the players. A better Max Scherzer? No closer? Why worry?
Some links for you on the weekend as we wait for pitchers and catchers to report...
The buzz from West Palm Beach and D.C.:
Mike Rizzo has two years to get the Nats to the World Series
Rizzo has built a model of consistency that other teams envy -- but postseason success still eludes the club, and if the Nats are to win it all, it'll probably have to be within the next two years, seeing as after 2018, Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark will be in their mid-thirties, and Bryce Harper may no longer be with the team. What Rizzo does in the next two years to get the Nats to their ultimate goal may reveal what the Nats' beloved GM is really made of.
Here’s how Max Scherzer could improve in 2017
The latest projections from Baseball Prospectus are not convinced — they see Scherzer declining, his wins above replacement dropping from 6.0 to 3.4 in 2017.
Why it’s too early to worry about the Nationals’ closer
"Finding an internal option could save the Nationals millions moving forward."
Seriously, what the heck is happening in the ninth inning for the Nats?
Heading into Spring Training, the Nats don't really have a clear-cut candidate for the closer job. That should make things... interesting?
Danny Espinosa calls Jonathan Papelbon 'one of the best teammates I've ever had'
Espinosa thinks former Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon is actually a good guy from a different era in baseball... and that Papelbon could beat Bryce Harper in a fight.
Nats counting on Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg to step up after quiet offseason
Entering Spring Training, it looks Nats are essentially the same team as last year, and the Nats didn't add any pieces they expect will get them over the hump. So, how can the Nats get past the first round of the playoffs? The answers are probably already on the team.
All eyes will again be on post-injury Stephen Strasburg this spring
"Strasburg said this before he had begun his typical offseason throwing program, and he hasn’t been interviewed since, so there’s no official word on his status entering spring training."
Anthony Rendon is a great fantasy pick beyond the top four third basemen
Despite suffering ankle injuries in college and carrying injury concerns into professional baseball, Rendon sandwiched a pair of 150-plus games played seasons around an injury shortened 80-game 2015 season
Hialeah’s Gio Gonzalez gets a night filled with rings and memories
Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez might have left Hialeah long ago to pursue his major-league dreams, but a big part of him never left his hometown.
David Robertson and the Dangers of Reliever Volatility
"The Washington Nationals, meanwhile, might need a closer if they aren’t comfortable with internal options who, whatever their qualifications, lack proven closer experience."
Nats' rotation can lead them to World Series
"If he can return to his Most Valuable Player form from 2015, Harper, Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy should be a dangerous trio in the middle of the lineup."
Nationals have few roster spots up for grabs
"The Nationals' starting lineup and rotation are all but set, barring injury, yet they will enter Spring Training with a few unknowns on their Opening Day roster."
All 30 MLB teams’ 2017 starting rotations, ranked
Nationals' rotation ranked No. 2 on FTW's list of MLB's top starting rotations...
Nats announce 24 nonroster invitees to spring training - The Washington Post
"The three top prospects of the group are Erick Fedde, Andrew Stevenson and Drew Ward, all of whom split the 2016 season between Class A Potomac and Class AA Harrisburg."