The Nats have a gaggle of new relievers. You can't swing a dead cat in DC without hitting someone currently being called a relief pitcher for the Nationals. That's great.
But when will Papelbon/Storen go? Will there be another big signing?
The latter seems inevitable. They've made market offers to O'Day, Zobrist, & Heyward. If they manage to get rid of Papelbon and Storen they should have 15-20 million to play with, if they aren't eating too much salary. Not to mention whatever flexibility they may have between where they are now (~130 million) and where they were last year (~160 million). This is what we wait for. The other shoe to drop.
What seems likely too is that other things may happen. Gio was talked about in a trade. It was assumed some of the Voth/Lopez type arms might be going if the Nats sign another arm. We've heard Cargo rumors and rumors for the cheaper Charlie Blackmon as well. And Chapman is still out there - though everyone is waiting to see what MLB does first. It's kind of amazing how much of interest is still on the table.
Yunel Escobar was traded for Trevor Gott.
Last year, at 32, Escobar had a great season at the plate. When you luck out and get something like that - that is almost certainly going to be a one year thing (BABIP of .347 - even with the better hitting that is going to come back down) - you almost have to trade high on it. The Nats have. They didn't get much, but they never were going to. Everyone sees the same thing the Nats do when looking at Yunel. He had a lucky year at the plate and he can't play in the field. The Angels are hoping he can man third hitting not too far from .300, walk a little, make a little more contact than your average Angel, and not embarrass himself in the field. The last point is important because he should have value at the plate. The question is how much his play in the field takes away. If he's even just ok, the Angels have a good value and a choice to keep him another year for a reasonable price if they see fit. If he's not ok, well maybe Adrelton Simmons can cover for him. Anyway you slice it though - it's probably a better move than something like 3/30 for David Freese, an every so slightly better player who they had last year and is now a FA.
What about Gott and the Nats? There is something worrisome about Gott in that he basically was your typical flamethrowing reliever who struck out a lot but also walked a lot (though some argued this wasn't a control issue as much as an approach one). Then he got up to the majors and struck no one out. He still did fine because he forced a lot of groundballs but that isn't his game. One school of thought is that he learned a new trick and once he gets those K's back he can be a dominant reliever. The other school of thought, populated by the kids whose parents can afford to send them to the good school, is that his stuff isn't quite translating into the majors and he'll top out as a middle reliever. (There's also the med school of thought that worries that he's a few months away from injury) The good thing is that he is only 23 next year so really anything is possible.
The biggest issue for the Nats is the same that comes with dealing/losing any one. The Nats have to make up what they lost. Yunel Escobar 2015 was a positive player who hit .315 and kept the offense from stagnating for much of the year. The assumption is healthy Rendon will make up for that or healthy Werth. That's probably true. But we all saw what relying on guys that "should be healthy" did for 2015. This is why we push for a new bat. Not a better offense in projections, but a more security for that offense. We'll see. Plenty of off-season left.