This afternoon the Nationals held a press conference to introduce Adam LaRoche to the local media, who naturally asked general manager Mike Rizzo about the team’s various failed attempts to improve the starting rotation this offseason.
They failed to sign Cliff Lee and Jorge De La Rosa, have apparently dropped out of the bidding for Carl Pavano, and fell short in trade attempts for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza.
Asked about those misses, Rizzo noted that top-of-the-rotation starters “are very difficult to obtain” and described his state of mind as “more frustrated, but a bit disappointed.”
Rizzo has tried to make big splashes since taking over as GM, but ultimately the Nationals might be better off that they didn’t acquire any of those big-name, high-priced starters this winter.
Washington is likely several years away from being serious contenders and their need for a top-of-the-rotation starter in the meantime is iffy. And by the time the rest of the team is good enough to warrant going after top-of-the-rotation starters, they’ll hopefully have one in Stephen Strasburg and perhaps a second one in Jordan Zimmermann. Free agent pitchers and trade partners spurning Rizzo’s offers has forced him to be patient and that might not be such a bad thing.