The Nationals could open spring training today with the pitching staff they already have in place and be content with that. Not thrilled, mind you, but content.
They have five returning starters, several intriguing fallback options and a top prospect on track to return from Tommy John surgery in June. They have four fairly established back-end relievers, plus a number of other arms good enough to fill out the rest of an Opening Day bullpen.
It wouldn’t be the best pitching staff in baseball, not by a longshot. But it would be a full staff of 13 major-league pitchers, with no obvious outliers taking up roster spots who clearly didn’t deserve to be there.
Thing is, spring training doesn’t start today. There are still two weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report to West Palm Beach. And with a host of free agents still unsigned, there’s still time for the Nats to add to their pitching staff if they so desire.
The real question, then, is: Do they desire to add to their pitching staff? And if so, how much are they willing to spend to do it?