Though there’s been a bit of movement on the free agent market elsewhere, we’re still in the preliminary stages of the offseason around here. The Nationals have yet to add anybody to the fold, focusing instead on which players to add to their 40-man roster and which players to remove from the equation.
But now that they’ve completed those tasks, it’s fair to wonder when they’ll start moving onto free agency and addressing a handful of significant needs. (It’s also fair to wonder if they’ll be able to address any of those needs while the club is still for sale, but we’ve already raised that question and there’s not much more to say about that for now.)
So let’s proceed as if Mark Lerner has given Mike Rizzo the green light to spend some money this winter. Not gobs of money, but enough money to fill roster holes with actual free agents, not just bargain-basement pickups.
The Nationals have multiple needs. We’ll focus today on a particularly important one: starting pitching.
The 2022 rotation ranked dead-last in the majors in ERA (5.97) by a longshot, last in WHIP (1.563), last in walks per nine innings (3.76), last in strikeouts per walk (1.97), last in homers allowed (161). It’s hard to believe they finished with the majors’ worst record as well, isn’t it?