When the Washington Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg in September, most of the collective baseball world felt the doom fall over the team. Sure, the team wasn't about to admit it. They were still a damn good team. But they were missing their ace, and they were heading into the playoffs without him. Ultimately, the Nats lost in five games in the Division Series. Washington should have Strasburg back for a full season next year, but they could find themselves with a contigency plan if they don't or if one of their starters goes down to injury; Zack Greinke.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said the Nationals could unseat the Dodgers as the favorites to land Greinke. And he could be right. Heyman's point is that the Nationals saved millions when they traded for Denard Span instead of pursuing free agent center fielder Michael Bourn. It's a good point, and one that could certainly lead the Nationals down the path of affording Greinke.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said almost the same thing as Heyman a couple days ago. The Nationals were once heavily interested in Greinke, but he spurned them. Now, Washington has the money and they have the success to entice Greinke much more than they did before.
If Washington is going to land Greinke, they are going to have to outwork numerous teams. The Angels want him back, the Rangers want him, and the Dodgers can't wait to give him a big contract. He has met or is planning to meet with all these teams. It could be an interesting hot stove season with the amount of interest surrounding Greinke, but Washington has more to offer.
The Nationals have almost the same roster they had when they won an MLB-high 98 games in 2012. They have money to spend after years of smart moves and banking prospects. They have a starting rotation that is the envy of almost every other team out there, and they could make it better with Greinke. No other team has as many parts in place as the Nats - not the Angels, not the Rangers, not the Dodgers. Both L.A. teams missed the postseason in 2012. The Rangers didn't even win the division. Washington not only won their division, they obliterated the competition.
Maybe it's all about the money, and Greinke signs elsewhere, but in my book, Washington has the most to offer. A move back to the National League, a great team, a great city reinvigorated by baseball success. What's not to love?
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