Some teams have started to make offseason acquisitions, the Washington Nationals, however, have not made a move. This will probably not last long, as the Nationals have multiple needs that they will need to address soon. One of these needs, is a utility infielder.
It is no secret that the Nationals bench struggled mightily last year, and to have more success they must upgrade in this area. Chad Tracy probably will not be back, and it doesn’t appear Danny Espinosa will be returning to the big leagues anytime soon. If the Nationals look for another righty, they could attempt to sign Juan Uribe.
Though he may not be a perfect replacement for Chad Tracy as Tracy is left handed, Uribe’s power and positive presence in the locker room could be a nice addition for Washington. However, I do not believe the Nationals will show much interest in Uribe due to the fact that he does not hit left-handed.
A more likely pick up is Kelly Johnson. Johnson spent last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, and hit 16 home runs with the club. He is comfortable starting or coming off the bench. Johnson can fill Tracy’s role as a switch-hitting pinch-hitter. It is safe to say that Johnson would be an upgrade for the Nationals in 2014.
It is expected that all of the starters for the Nationals from last year’s team will return in 2014. Ryan Zimmerman is a lock at third base, Ian Desmond has shortstop locked down, and it appears that Anthony Rendon will return to play second base. The only question comes with first basemen Adam LaRoche.
The Nationals would like to get Tyler Moore some more at bats, but that is difficult with LaRoche playing first base. This is the final year of LaRoche’s two year contract, and his production dipped in 2013. Though a trade involving LaRoche could be beneficial to the Nationals, I do not believe they will move him this offseason.