Jan 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams speaks during a press conference introducing pitcher Max Scherzer (not pictured) as a member of the Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
MCB: I have argued that this move doesn’t make the Nationals a whole lot better. They were always going to have a very good team, one that will compete for a World Series in 2015 and beyond, with or without Scherzer. How does this make them more of a World Series threat?
DOD: To answer that question, it depends on what the team does next after this move. If the Nationals keep Jordan Zimmermann, then Matt Williams will have two aces in his rotation. If not, Scherzer slides in for Zimmermann and you can make the case that it cancels out. The Nationals were third in all of baseball in runs scored last season, so the offense is there. The question is can the team bring the bats to the postseason, something they didn’t do last season against the Giants.
The rotation is already the strength of the Nats, but the bullpen is going to be a question mark. With Tyler Clippard gone, who takes over as the eighth inning man? Plus, what about Drew Storen? Can he be a successful closer with Rafael Soriano no longer in DC? Storen has had a couple of bad moments on the postseason stage, but had a great second half of last season. If Washington keeps the rotation together, they are the prohibitive favorites to reach the World Series.
Finally, we find out what D.C. consensus is on the deferred payment structure…