Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

One year removed from their first World Series championship, the Nationals are looking to build a roster this offseason to return to the playoffs. Washington finished the 2020 season at 26-34, and did not make the playoffs to defend its title.

While the majority of the club from 2019 returned this year, the roster could look very different following this offseason. There are several areas for the team to address over the winter, and new faces from outside the organization could be added to fill those roles.

Pitching – Starting Rotation

Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin are good to go for 2021, and Stephen Strasburg is expected to make his return from injury. Who will be the number 4 and 5 pitchers for the Nationals? The Nats declined the club option on Anibal Sanchez. Austin Voth struggled in his first season as a starter. Joe Ross was closing in on the position last year but elected not to play for the 2020 season. Eric Fedde made a case while filling in for the the injured Stras. Will Voth and Fedde get another opportunity to improve next season or will the Nationals bring in new arms to round out their rotation?


The Nationals declined their club option on Adam Eaton, so the need is the right fielder to play with Juan Soto and Victor Robles. Toward the end of this season, the team took a look at the left fielder Soto in right. That change would open up new possibilities if the Nats pursued a left fielder versus a right fielder, and different players would become fits in the trade and free-agent market. Is Andrew Stevenson going to be a full time player in left field? He did end the season with a 12 game hitting streak.

Robles, 23, is participating in winter ball ahead of his fifth Major League season, in which he is looking to have a bounce-back year. In 2020, his numbers dropped to .220/.293/.315 with a .608 OPS across 52 games. The 2019 Gold Glove Award finalist added around 15 pounds of muscle to his frame this season.


Kurt Suzuki is a free agent at age 37 and in his 15th season. He could return to the Nationals on a new deal, or the Nats could go after free agent J.T. Realmuto taking away star power from the Phillies.

First Base

Last year Eric Thames and Asdrubal Cabrera manned the base with Mr. National Ryan Zimmerman opting not to play in 2020. Zimmerman is now a free agent. Howie Kendrick also played first base before being injured. Cabrera is a free agent, and the Nationals declined the club portion of the mutual options for Kendrick and Thames, leaving a big “what’s next” at the position. Will Zimm return to man first base, will the Nats opt for a new defensive combination or will they check out the market for a new addition?

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