The overpay for Werth (also a Boras client), the constant praise we heard of Pena from sources on the team, the actual mutual interest, the "Carlos 4 eva" homemade tattoo across Rizzo's chest... How could the Nats not get Pena?
Best guess I have : Boras convinced Pena that a one-year deal would be better for him (next year's FA first base market should be exceedingly slim) and Rizzo did not want a guy on a one-year deal.
Oh well, it's not like I thought Pena was best for the Nats anyway. He may be fine next year, but I wouldn't bet on it. I do like LaRoche, the supposed next target, better. He doesn't have the (super small) chance to be great like Carlos Pena, but he also doesn't have the (not so small) chance to be a complete nothing, either. LaRoche should be average or better for at least a couple more years. Plus, his name is Adam. After LaRoche, the next best available first basemen out there are the old Derrek Lee and the contender seeking Lyle Overbay (good luck with all that Lyle).
In more disappointing but far less shocking news, the Nats are likely a no-go for a Greinke deal. This makes perfect sense. The gap between the Nats best prospects (which they weren't going to give up) and their next best is pretty big. I suppose if the Nats gutted their system and offered up Norris and Espinosa and Solis and Storen the Royals might bite, but that would (1) leave the Nationals with a Bryce Harper and absolutely nothing else minor league system, and (2) give the Royals a couple of projected low average starters, a relief arm, and a guy that just became a modest starter prospect for their best chip. (If that sounds like a lot for Grienke remember that a fan will almost always overrate his team's own prospects. Storen is the only sure thing on that list and you don't make a reliever the key part of a package deal for your Cy Young winning, 2 reasonable years left, 27 year old starter.)