Some random notes before checking out for XMAS (well maybe - you never know when inspiration will hit)
On the whole bench thing, overall this should be a good offense. The talent of the offensive starters 1-8 should be Top 5 in the league* but injuries can kill those expectations. We saw that last year. Injuries took out Ramos, Werth and Bryce for various time frames. Add in a regression from LaRoche and a collapse from Espinosa and you get a offense that took 2/3rds of the year to get back together.
There is no reason for the Nats to be sure that can't happen again. So you can either plan for it now, with the best bench possible or adapt to it later, with trades. Since Rizzo seems to be more of a "set it and forget it" guy when it comes to rosters, I think it's important we set the bench to be as good as possible.
I don't think they have to replace Espy, Moore & Solano/Leon, you can take a gamble here or there, but if they don't replace at least two I'll be disappointed. If I were to bet I'd say most likely to be here is Solano/Leon, then Moore, then Espy. Why Solano/Leon? Way I see it, if Ramos does go down again then trade, but hope it doesn't come to that.
Yes, there can't be a perfect roster (or more accurately it's really hard and expensive to do it and no one does it so don't blame the Nats for that) but there are holes and it'd be silly not to try to address it. It might not be the best plan for the future, but constantly planning for the long haul can cause you to miss the opportunities in front of you. The Strasburg sit followed by the 2013 they had should be a blaring klaxon warning everyone of that.
JW - you're not offering enough for Belt, even if the Giants don't love him they'll see that.
z11/blovy8 - The Yanks will score runs (yes their gain is better than their loss.. at least from what those guys put up in 2013) but are in trouble if they don't find pitching (the Tanaka situation isn't looking good right now). With the talent out there I hope they don't break the cap for an arm (Arroyo for 2 is my hope). I expect the Rays to run away with the East. Stats-wise I don't like the Red Sox as much as everyone else. A lot of best / 2nd best years put up last season, pitching depth is an issue, Bogarts is real deal but no guarantee of great 2014 and Middlebrooks/Bradley Jr are question marks.
Anon - cass is right - if the Nats didn't up with Syracuse they would have had to find someplace else to play and Syracuse would have to find another team to use their facilities. Usually what you see is a major league team deciding to move on from a place for better facilities/location and teams shuffling around after that move.
*For those of you focusing on the great last couple of months the Nats put up as proof of a powerhouse 2014 team, I'll remind you that the team was together in July as well. Gotta factor that in.
Merry Christmas, everyone.