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Did the Nationals Track to win the NL East Just Become Harder? What should the Nationals Next Move Be?

Front Offices of teams in the NL East will be burning the midnight oil after the New York Mets latest moves. The New York Mets just made the NL East really interesting to watch.

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With the New York Mets trading for SS Francisco Lindor, the Washington Nationals’ path to winning the NL East just became hard, right? While we all know that you can win the offseason, what’s really important and counts are how the players you sign perform on the field. It made me think, what is going to be the impact of this trade on the NL East and how are teams especially the Washington Nationals are going to react to this trade.

To me, you can look at this trade through two lenses: the greater NL East and what the Washington Nationals do next? Let’s start with the impact on the NL East.

Impact on the NL East

With the blockbuster trade that the New York Mets just made, the NL East just became the most competitive division in Major League Baseball. Atlanta Braves have already won the division three years in a row (2018-2020), the Marlins seem to be improving or at least taking steps to strengthen, and the Mets this offseason have well made some notable signings trades. Here are some interesting facts to think about in the NL East:

1) Now the NL East has the top two shortstops: Trea Turner and New York Mets Francisco Lindor. 

2) Cy-Young caliber pitching – Between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals, Aces on their respective teams has won the Cy-Young pitching award from 2016-2019. (Max Scherzer 2016 and 2017 and Jacob deGrom 2018-2019)

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3) Dyanimac Young Talent – All the teams in the NL East have some fantastic young talent. From Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto to Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies just to name two. 


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Washington Nationals Next Move

What should the Nationals do next? As Washington Nationals fans, we should be worried about the team’s current structure, even with Josh Bell’s addition. The Nationals are missing many pieces, and I don’t think that I need to re-hash the needs. After some thinking, I came up with three possible roads that the Nationals could travel on at least right away. 

Road #1: Knee Jerk Reaction 

Making a knee jerk reaction that might harm yourself or the team, in the long run, isn’t usually a good idea. Thank goodness, and knowing Mike Rizzo‘s previous comments and trades, this isn’t his MO, and I think Rizzo will not fall into that trap. But if there is a need to do so, I am sure that there are a couple of good players on the free-agent market or available to trade to quench that urge. 

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Road #2: Long Haul 

If the Washington Nationals were to take this road, Washington Nationals fans are in for a world of hurt over the next couple of seasons. Even though Rizzo and Co, aren’t in a teardown mode like the Cubs, one could be on the way. While all signs look towards building on what the Nationals roster has currently, I wonder if that changes if the Nationals are out of playoff contention at the trade deadline. 

Road #3: Somewhere in between 

Road #3 seems to be the more sensible road to take as the balance is always the right approach and the one that I would advocate Rizzo taking. What does “in-between” mean? Well, I think that the Nationals should remain aggressive and sign a player that fits many needs, not just one, and go into the season ready to compete but have a backup plan if things turn south really quickly. I also think that Rizzo should make a splash in signing or trade for a quality player that would inject some fresh energy into the team.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what Rizzo & Co’s next moves are or how the other teams in the NL East. 

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