Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/1/12
Washington's 2012 season came a year early. Most fans expected the Nationals to contend in 2013, and that 2012 would be more of a stepping stone year. Of course, the team had the best record in baseball during the regular season and boosted expectations for fans of the franchise. Needs Contrary to popular belief (mostly in the minds of angry NL East fans), 2012 wasn't some sort of fluke for Washington. This is an extremely talented team, and they're going to be even better in 2013. The one significant free agent on the team is starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. The team could use another starting pitcher with Jackson departing and the potential non-tendering of third year arbitration eligible player John Lannan. The team also has an interesting decision at first base, where Adam LaRoche is a free agent, but left fielder Michael Morse is so putrid defensively that he'd be a better fit there. The team might pursue a middle reliever or two with Sean Burnett and Mike Gonzalez hitting free agency, but I don't think they'd consider a big name like Rafael Soriano or Ryan Madson. Potential Options This team has been craving a center fielder for awhile, and if they don't bring LaRoche back, a game of musical chairs could take place with Morse moving to first base, Bryce Harper shifting from center field to left field, and the Nationals hunting down a center fielder. The team apparently covets Michael Bourn, and his agent Scott Boras has several clients with Washington, meaning that Washington could be a great fit for the former Brave. BJ Upton has also been linked to the team in the past, and he could be a fit with the team as well. I honestly think that it's LaRoche or a center fielder for this team, and that they're not going to explore another first baseman or a corner outfielder. As for the slot in the rotation that may be available, I think Washington would explore a veteran innings eater in the mold of Jackson if they let Lannan walk. Think of a Joe Blanton type of player. However, signing a player like Shaun Marcum to a one-year deal in the same vein as they did with Jackson if he can't get what he's looking for might work out very well for them. Trade Options Because of the relative youth of this team, I don't see them being very active in the trade market, especially when it comes to spinning off pieces of the major league roster. The only player in the majors I could see the team looking to deal is Morse, making $7 million in 2013. Washington could feel that the team could be in a better shape offensively and defensively by bringing in a center fielder and re-signing LaRoche, making Morse the odd man out. He'll be 31 in March, so he's not exactly a spring chicken in comparison to the rest of this team. Trade Targets Again, I don't see the team making much headway in the way of trades, especially after their farm system took a huge hit with the Gio Gonzalez trade last winter. One possibility that Washington has seemingly been perpetually tied to is Denard Span of the Twins, who was rumored to be heading to Washington at the 2011 trade deadline (so much so that we had a post in the hopper ready to go live if the trade became official). Span is under contract through 2014 with an option for 2015, meaning that he'd be more of a long-term trade for the team that wouldn't cripple their payroll. Aside from him, I haven't heard any rumblings of Washington making a trade, but that doesn't mean one won't happen at all. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nationals fire Matt Williams after disappointing 2015 season

Did Suh make a statement with his footwear at practice?

Eagles C Jason Kelce: Offensive line is ‘a disgrace right now’

Report: Colts expect Andrew Luck to start Week 5

Dolphins DC Coyle more likely to be fired than Philbin

Jerry Jones: It’s hard to beat Brees with ‘limited’ Weeden


Report: Cowboys fear Lance Dunbar has torn ACL, MCL

Adam Schefter: Richard Sherman blocked me on Twitter

Martellus Bennett compared Jay Cutler to Jesus

Jimmy Johnson thinks 49ers need to move on from Colin Kaepernick

Pat Murphy won't be back as Padres manager next year

Brian Cushing's wife gets upset with Houston talk show host

Looking back at Mark Buehrle's quietly efficient career

The 25 best NHL players under 25

Todd Gurley showed maturity beyond his years in Week 4

Five fantasy things we learned about every NFL Week 4 game

Six biggest flameout teams of 2015 college football season

LSU's Fournette highlights problem with rigid NFL rules

NFL stock report: Who is rising, falling after Week 4?

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 4 NFL action

Eight notable NFL Week 4 winners and losers

Professor moves student’s exam to accommodate Cubs playoff game

WATCH: Adrian Peterson torches Broncos for marathon touchdown

Don Orsillo gives moving farewell to Red Sox fans on NESN

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki takes the mound for the Marlins

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 25 best NHL players under 25

Five fantasy things we learned about every NFL Week 4 game

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 4 NFL action

Eight notable NFL Week 4 winners and losers

Jimmy Johnson: Move on from Kaepernick

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki pitches for the Marlins

Philbin not worried about job status

London PR guy trolls Suh

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker