Running down the rosters: Washington Nationals

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The Nationals may have disappointed some by failing to make a big run at the top three free agents, but a vastly improved rotation could make them surprise contenders in the NL East.

Rotation
Gio Gonzalez – L
Edwin Jackson – R
Jordan Zimmermann – R
John Lannan – L
Stephen Strasburg – R

Bullpen
Drew Storen – R
Tyler Clippard – R
Sean Burnett – L
Henry Rodriguez – R
Brad Lidge – R
Tom Gorzelanny – L
Ross Detwiler – L

Disabled list: Chien-Ming Wang (R)
SP next in line: Detwiler, Craig Stammen (R), Yunesky Maya (R), Chad Durbin (R)
RP next in line: Ryan Perry (R), Stammen (R), Jeff Fulchino (R), Ryan Mattheus (R)

The additions of Gonzalez and Jackson give the Nationals arguably the game’s deepest rotation. Now they just have to figure out how to make it work. That Detwiler is out of options complicates things; the Nationals aren’t going to try sending him down. A Lannan trade remains a real possibility. The Nationals also have the option of sending Lannan down to Triple-A, though that wouldn’t go over very well. As for me, I’m stashing Wang on the disabled list to help with the logjam. He’s already experiencing some shoulder soreness this spring anyway.

The bullpen should be very strong at the end of games and still pretty good before that. I don’t think the Lidge addition was necessary, but the price was right. A Gorzelanny trade to open up a spot for Perry wouldn’t come as a surprise.

Lineup
SS Ian Desmond – R
RF Jayson Werth – R
3B Ryan Zimmerman – R
LF Michael Morse – R
1B Adam LaRoche – L
2B Danny Espinosa – S
C Wilson Ramos – R
CF Rick Ankiel – L

Bench
C Jesus Flores – R
INF Steve Lombardozzi – S
INF-OF Mark DeRosa – R
OF Roger Bernadina – L
OF Brett Carroll – R

Disabled list: 1B Chris Marrero (R)
Next in line: C Carlos Maldonado (R), 1B-3B Chad Tracy (L), INF Andres Blanco (S), INF Jarrett Hoffpauir (R), INF Carlos Rivero (R), 3B-OF Mark Teahen (L), OF Bryce Harper (L), OF Jason Michaels (R), OF Xavier Paul (L)

While the pitching looks very strong, the lineup is still something of a mess. Werth and Zimmerman should be better this year, but there aren’t any traditional No. 1 or No. 2 hitters to put ahead of them. The team badly needs Desmond to step up.

I decided not to include Harper, even though I had him in my original projected lineup last month. It makes so much more financial sense to send him down for at least a month to start the season, and as good as Harper is likely to be someday, he’s hardly guaranteed to be an upgrade on Ankiel and Bernadina right away this year.

So, I’m sticking Ankiel in center field for now. The Nationals just lost their best stopgap option when Mike Cameron retired. I favor Ankiel over Bernadina, but Davey Johnson will probably just play the hot hand of the two. By July 1 at the latest, I think we’ll see Werth in center field and Harper in right.

My guess is that while the pitching will be strong, the Nationals won’t score enough runs to win 90 games this year. This is a better team, one that’s going to be more enjoyable to watch than anything else the Nationals have put on the field in their brief history. But it’s probably a year away.

Reports: Dylan Moore, Mariners agree to nearly $8.9M deal

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a three-year contract worth $8,875,000, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity night because the agreement had not been announced.

Moore had asked for a raise from $1.35 million to $2.25 million, and the Mariners had offered $1.9 million when proposed arbitration figures were exchanged on Jan. 13.

The 30-year-old utilityman would have been eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, but the new agreement pushes that back a year.

Moore played every position except pitcher and catcher last year, including 39 games in right field, seven in center, 18 in left, two at third base, 26 at shortstop, 12 at second, eight at first and three at designated hitter.

He is expected to play more second base this season, sharing time with Kolten Wong, and also is likely to spell J.P. Crawford at shortstop.

Moore was selected by Texas in the seventh round of the 2015 amateur draft, traded to Atlanta a year later and then released by the Braves in March 2018. He signed with Milwaukee, was released at the end of the season and then signed with Seattle that November.

Moore made his big league debut in March 2019 when Seattle played Oakland in Tokyo.

He hit .224 with six homers and 24 RBIs last year, down from 12 homers, 43 RBIs and a .181 batting average in 2021. Moore is a .208 career hitter with 35 homers and 112 RBIs.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, acquired by the Mariners from Toronto, also remains on track for a hearing. He asked for a raise from $10.65 million to $16 million, and Seattle offered $14 million.