Thoughts on the Winter Meetings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I figure I better get something up in November before the month totally passes me by.  Been  recovering from rotator cuff surgery, so typing takes twice as long as usual.  I’m using Chien-Ming Wang as a little bit of inspiration, since my shoulder feels worse right now than it did pre-surgery.  Eventually they say it will be much better, so I have to hope I’ll be 100% again at some point.  Wang came back to pitch in MLB, so I’m optimistic that I can get back to a weekend warrior level.

Many fans are keeping their eye on the winter meetings in Dallas, to see if the Nats come out of there with a piece or two that would enable a playoff push next year.  I’m all for finding the right pieces, but not at the expense of mortgaging the future.  Like many close observers of the Nats, I think 2013 will be the year to make a serious playoff push.  I’m not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic, while playing in the same division as a few other perennial playoff teams.  I would like to see us acquire a front line starter, either as an innings-eater and staff leader, such as Buhrle or possibly Oswalt (with an incentive-laden contract) via free agency, if the price is right.  Or, we could trade for a higher-caliber, entering-their-prime starter, if they are under contract for at least 3 more years.  A center fielder with either leadoff capability or power would be great, and I acknowledge that need along with everyone else.  But I’d like to see a 1-2 year solution there, barring a trade.  In 2 years, we’ll have a glut of outfielders, and not enough room to play them.

As for first base, I’m not sure whether to laugh or be angry at those who suggest we sign some help at first base.  I’d prefer to keep Morse at first, for no other reason that him playing there coincided with him hitting over .300 and 30+ home runs.  But if the front office is intent on playing LaRoche at first, then Morse can shift there when LaRoche needs a day off, which also frees up an outfield spot for a bench player to get a spot start and some ABs.  To use a roster spot on another 1B would be downright silly.

If we enter spring training with no major signings or trades, I’m fine with that too, as long as that means we get a long look this season at Milone, Peacock, Lombardozzi, and others to see if they are going to be long-term pieces of the puzzle.  And my acquiescence to that plan in 2012 would be with the strong assumption that we would be major free agent players for the pieces we need going into 2013.

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