Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/9/14
After their signing of Rafael Soriano last week, the Washington Nationals have an absolutely loaded bullpen, with Soriano joining Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, and Craig Stammen, among others. But in his column posted this morning, Ken Rosenthal of Fox noted that Washington could look to deal Clippard or Storen, while signing a starting pitcher and moving current fifth starter Ross Detwiler to the bullpen. If there's such a thing as overkill, it would be the Nationals signing another veteran starting pitcher (following their one-year deal with Dan Haren earlier this winter). While a rotation of Strasburg-Gonzalez-Zimmermann-Haren and Javier Vazquez or Kyle Lohse would look pretty good, is the upgrade from Detwiler to Vazquez or Lohse really that much of an improvement? In 164 1/3 innings last season, Detwiler was worth 1.8 fWAR while making under 500 grand. This year, his salary has jumped to a whopping $2.3 million, or about a quarter of what Lohse would likely earn and probably a third of what Vazquez would earn. The 34-year old Lohse had a career year in 2012, posting a 2.86 ERA and 3.4 fWAR in 211 innings. That's all well and good, but is the benefit of a win and a half really worth the extra seven or eight million in salary for 2013? Of course, that's even assuming that the 2012 Lohse shows up again in Washington in 2012. In 2011, Lohse had a 3.39 ERA and accrued 2.5 fWAR in 188 1/3 innings, and in 2009 and 2010, he combined to throw just 209 2/3 innings and total 1.5 fWAR. That doesn't look like a huge upgrade over Detwiler to me, especially considering that Detwiler is a whopping seven years younger than Lohse and has much less mileage on his arm. As for replacing Detwiler with Vazquez, that actually makes more sense than trading for Lohse, but there is still a lot of risk involved. Vazquez didn't pitch in the majors last year at all, and he's even older than Lohse at 36. Vazquez would be, at the very worst, an innings eater for the Nationals with little chance of injury. But that brings me back to the point of the article: would an upgrade in the rotation really be worth it when Washington would be harming their bullpen? While Clippard and Storen have each been pushed out of their roles after the Soriano signing, both are still excellent relievers with several years of control (two for Clippard, three for Storen) remaining after 2013. Clippard has been a one win guy for each of the last three seasons while striking out nearly 30% of his batters faced. While Storen hasn't hit the one win plateau during his career, he's been solid enough and hasn't been a drain on the team. Just because Detwiler was a solid enough starter for the Nationals last season doesn't mean that he can slide right into the bullpen and be an even better reliever. In his career as a reliever, Detwiler has had an awesome 1.11 ERA in 32 1/3 innings, but has struck out only 23 while walking 15. That's nowhere near the level of dominane of Clippard and Storen (albeit in a small sample), and thinking that it would be a seamless transition is a bit of flawed logic. As constructed right now, the Nationals are a solid World Series contender, and they don't need to continue to tinker with their team. Getting involved in a multi-year contract with Lohse or rolling the dice with Vazquez would reek of a desperation move, and the Nationals aren't desperate. Their payroll for 2013 will be north of $110 million, and they've already got $78 million committed for 2014 (without even considering Strasburg's first arbitration season). Throwing around even more money to solve a problem that isn't even a problem would be reckless, and the risks would by far outweigh the rewards for Washington. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

A gift from Santa: NFC edition

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cullen Jenkins thinks his roughing the passer fine is unfair

Bochy: Peavy trade was best in-season move of 2014

Report: Anderson Varejao out for season with torn Achilles

Kevin Nash arrested after alleged fight with son

Report: Celtics, Cavs discussing three-team trade

NFC playoff picture, Week 17: Division showdowns

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

Jason Grilli signs with Atlanta (sort of) for two years

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each NFL Week 17 game

The 40 greatest Christmas-related names in sports

NBA teams rooting for others to win

WATCH: Vlade Divac drains half-court shot, wins $90K for charity

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.

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

NFC playoff picture, Week 17: Division showdowns

J.R. Smith: Knicks' season a 'nightmare'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.