I got called out on Twitter for saying I was excited about the Nationals this season on the BSR Podcast. With an expanded Wild Card, I could see them not only finishing with their first winning season since arriving in D.C., but also squeezing themselves into the playoff race.
Davey Johnson said the 2012 Nationals have more potential that the 1984 Mets and sees his team making the postseason this year.
Whether they do or not, it’s certainly been an exciting club that Mike Rizzo has put together in Washington. While things were relatively quiet this offseason for the Orioles, Rizzo acquired Gio Gonzalez, signed Edwin Jackson and Brad Lidge, extended Ryan Zimmerman’s contract and was front and center in the Prince Fielder negotiations. You could argue that the biggest thing Baltimore did this offseason was get banned from Korea.
The Nationals have one missing piece heading into Opening Day, a center fielder. Right now the Nats will likely rotate Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina and Jayson Werth in at centerfield, but according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, they still haven’t ruled out making a move before Opening Day.
“I think if we can answer our long-term question now, we’ll do so,” Rizzo told Kilgore. “We won’t make the change for a short-term answer.”
Among the candidates on their list of long-term possibilities is Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. Rizzo and Washington have had internal discussions about making a move for Jones this offseason according to Kilgore.
Baltimore’s center fielder, and arguably their face of the franchise, is arbitration eligible after 2013 and becomes a free agent after the 2014 season. I have argued that the O’s should re-sign Jones before the All-Star break this season and build around him, but so far there hasn’t been much news on that front. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that it would take at least a five-year deal to lock in Jones long-term.
If Washington did acquire Jones, I would expect them to sign him to a long-term deal after making the trade much like they did with Gio Gonzalez.
It would hurt to see Jones go to D.C. He’s been my favorite player in Baltimore for the past four seasons and has the most personality of anyone on that team.