Of course I love the Lobaton deal - I said I'd do it just for Karns. Even if those other two don't end up being anything other than organizational players the deal is still good. Why?
It addresses a need... - the Nats have a potentially very good catcher, but one who has a rich history of injury. They've been rotating in two minor leaguers as back-up neither of whom look ready to hit at the major league level. Understanding that they brought in a number of veterans and the favorite to win the job was 33 year old who has had one decent offensive season since 2008. The Nats needed a better option.
...by dealing from a strength - with Detwiler, Jordan, Roark, and Karns the Nats had a glut of guys who were decent shots at making the back of a major league rotation. With Cole and Giolito, the Nats have two up and comers they like to be at least mid-rotation guys sooner rather than later. The Nats could deal one of those first four and still have depth enough to cover the expected one questionable rotation spot.
It keeps Rizzo from dealing in season. I've discussed this before but Rizzo seems loathe to make mid-season corrections to keep the team on course. You can actually argue that isn't a bad thing (doing so means you are usually giving up more than you are getting back and the return is often uncertain to produce dividends in the short time remaining in the season) but it's certainly not a good thing for the immediate task in front of the Nats. Win in 2014. The more "disaster prep" he does, the less likely he is going to need to do "damage control" and the better I feel.
What's left to do? Not having another LH bat on the bench is the thing most likely to come back and haunt the Nats, given that its not unlikely one of their OF will miss a chunk of time this season, pulling their first option into the starting line-up. Work could (should) be done here, but I get a real sense the time for preseaon "moves" is done with the Nationals. Perhaps a mid-season deal like the one that brought Hairston in will happen if it really is an issue. A better MI back-up would also be nice but close to 30 teams would probably say the same thing. Giving Espinosa another shot is as good as anything out there and a deal would be pricy.
Say hello to your 2014 Nats. If you can wish three things for them, wish health, health, and health, because if they have health the rest should take care of itself.