It's easy to just throw out some ideas on what the Nats should and shouldn't do and move on. You'll seem pretty smart at the time and there are no consequences because you aren't really connected to the team. But I like consequences. Therefore let's go over what I said last year and if I was SMART or I was SMRT.
My Take: Ramos starts, sign Soto as a back-up, if you can.
Out of Box :Trade Ramos in package for Price. Sign McCann
2014 Reality : Soto ended up getting a chance to start so that couldn't happen, but the Nats did focus on getting a decent back-up trading for Lobaton and it worked out about as well as having a back-up catcher play alot could. The OOB take trading Ramos might have been a smart move, his value only dipped with another injury filled year, and if he could have been a centerpiece for Price even better. Signing McCann would have been a huge mistake but hilarious. If Nats fans don't like him now, imagine the hate when he played terribly and was due a lot of money.
MT: LaRoche is the only option. But please don't use Moore. Sign Baker instead
OOB: Platoon LaRoche with Morse
2014 Reality : My take was so spot on it hurts. Moore was terrible and rightfully shipped down. LaRoche would hit .204/.284/.336 versus lefties. Baker .319 / .362 / .462. DAMN YOU RIZZO. Morse would have worked too (.248 / .316 / .511 vs LHP) but he got re-signed to basically start when healthy for the Giants so I don't think he would have come here to platoon.
MT: Rendon and Lombo as the back-up is fine. That's right. I was ok with Lombo as the 25th man.
OOB: Put Rendon at 3rd and Zimmerman at 2nd!
2014 Reality : Rendon was so good that whereever you put him would have been fine. Lombo is better than Frandsen (not hard to do) and cheaper, but if the Tigers wanted him you put him in that deal so fast his grit spins. #25 is #25. Zimmerman at 2nd still intrigues me but given his arm strength issues it probably would have ended badly as outs on balls up the middle and DPs never materialized, replaced by weak flings bouncing into the dugout.
MT: Desmond with Lombo is ok
OOB: Trade Desmond to the Cardinals for Adams, Martinez and Descalso.
2014 Reality : Desmond with whoever was ok. The OOB trade ceased being a great idea when Zimm stopped being able to play a position. I'm a big Matt Adams fan but if he were on the team now we'd be running into the "where does Zimm play" question all over again. Descalso in place of Desmond would have cost the Nats a couple wins but not enough to effect the pennant and hell - what the worst playoff implication? Nats don't win that one game? Martinez didn't blossom last year but remains an intriguing starter prospect who'd morph nicely into a pen prospect if starting doesn't work. I still like the deal but the hole at SS would be huge.
MT: Trying Ryan is fine. Jeff Baker would be good enough to back-up if he was signed
OOB: Zimm to 1B, Rendon to 3b, Cano signed.
2014 Reality :WHY DIDN'T THE NATS SIGN BAKER?! Zimm at 3rd wasn't fine as we found out. As for the OOB, assuming there wasn't a big chemistry issue with LaRoche/Zimm platooning this would have made the Nats a 100+ win team and huge favorites. Does Cano over whoever win the Nats the Giants series and get them a title? We don't know for sure but let's just go ahead and say, yes, yes it would have.
MT: Bryce, Werth, Span is good. Hairston is ok as 4th, sign Gutierrez as the 5th.
OOB: Bring in Ellsbury! Make Span the 4th.
2014 Reality : Gutierrez took the year off. McLouth was brought in to be the 4th. He was pretty terrible but I'm not going to crow for Hairston as being such a great idea. As for the OOB that would have been a bad idea. The Nats maybe get a little better in 2014 (maybe) and end up tied to a big salary. Still the Ellsbury play wouldn't be terrible in the long run, I don't think. At least for a team without the Nats' specific make-up issues. He'd shift to a corner and give good D and value there, and Taylor/Souza would get needed time in majors. But Ellsbury can't with the Nats because Werth is stuck in the corner because Zimm has to play first. This is the reality for the next 3 seasons. The Nats have two first basemen and only one first base.
MT: Sign Kuroda or maybe Hudson. Let others fight it out for 5th.
OOB: Sign Ricky Nolasco and try a 4-man rotation
2014 Reality : Either Kuroda or Hudson would have been fine, (Hudson signing does set up an alternate universe where perhaps the Nats legs have something between them) but Fister is obviously better. Well played Rizzo. The OOB would have been fun to see but would have blown up as Ricky Nolasco was terrible again. Terrible. Don't listen to my starting pitching ideas is the take away.
MT: Soriano, Storen, Clippard, Stammen, are all good. Maybe sign Boone Logan because Det is done.
OOB: go no lefties -sing Stauffer and Jesse Crain. Let Williams manage
2014 Reality: Det was done, but the Nats really didn't need to sign anyone. Soriano (despite his late season swoon), Storen, Clippard, Stammen were fine. Barrett/Thorton also was good. Logan ened up blowing up and needing surgery but I don't believe anything about pitchers in Colorado. He could have been ok here. Stauffer was fine but no better than what the Nats had. He was still good versus lefties though. Crain never pitched. Again - I don't know pitching apparently.