Maybe Next Year: Chicago Cubs

2013 Vitals

2013 Record: 65-91

Runs Per Game: 3.8 (13th in NL)

Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.23 (8th in NL)

Best Player: Wellington Castillo (3.1 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR, 2.5 WARP)

Worst Player: Scott Hairston (-0.6 fWAR), Starlin Castro (-0.8 rWAR), Darwin Barney (-1.7 WARP)

Best Pitcher: Travis Wood (2.8 fWAR, 4.8 rWAR), Jeff Samardzija (2.4 WARP)

Worst Pitcher: Shawn Camp (-0.8 fWAR, -0.9 rWAR, -0.6 WARP)

Important Number: 69, Starlin Castro’s OPS+ in a startling year for his development

2013 in Review

In many ways the 2013 season, the second year of the new management’s rebuilding effort, was about cutting back the old growth to make room for the new. Under 25 talents Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Junior Lake all started. Older players like Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza, and Scott Hairston were all dealt for more young talent (including a very good package from Texas in the Garza deal). And while these are still just the first steps in the rebuilding effort, these players didn’t exactly instill confidence in the future. Castro was incredibly disappointing at the plate, though there are reports of the organization messing with his approach before the season (Come on Cubs, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it). Rizzo had some highs early in the season before ultimately falling off. And Junior Lake played well, but his plate discipline leaves much to be desired.

The good news: these three players are 23 and still have plenty of time to turn it around. It’s not like the Cubs are expecting to contend next year. The pitching also had some bright spots with solid performances from Samardzija and Wood. The Cubs may not have had many performances this year that point towards good things in the future, but the performances of some of these pitchers is something to hold onto for now.

2013 in GIFs

all via mlbgifs.com. As always you may want to open in new tab to view better.

 

Offseason Preview

The Cubs are in a slightly different position than a lot of these rebuilding teams. They actually have a lot of money to spend if they so choose. Last year they used that advantage to sign Edwin Jackson, who could be a part of the next winning Cubs team or be traded for more young players. The Cubs could pull a move like that again this year.

They also still have some players who might be attractive trade assets, including Wood, and outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Nate Schierholtz. The focus on the Cubs will be building from within with young players like Mike Olt close to ready to contribute and even younger players like recent draft pick Kris Bryant taking a couple of years to develop.

2014 Outlook

More of the same is on the horizon for Wrigleyville. Their pitching won’t improve enough to make them more than a bottom half pitching team. Their offense should improve because I think Castro and Rizzo have improvement seasons and the front office has proven to be very adept at filling out the roster with pieces that can contribute. In the end, the Cubs finish in last again, but more youth means more reasons to look forward to future seasons.

 

Maybe Next Year: Chicago White Sox

2013 Vitals

2013 Record: 61-94 (Last in AL Central)

Runs Per Game: 3.72 (Last in AL)

Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.47 (10th in AL)

Best Player: Alexei Ramirez (2.8 fWAR, 1.9 rWAR), Alejandro de Aza (2.6 WARP)

Best Pitcher: Chris Sale (4.9 fWAR, 7.3 rWAR, 4.1 WARP)

Worst Player: Jeff Keppinger (-1.8 fWAR, -2.3 rWAR), Paul Konerko (-1.3 WARP)

Worst Pitcher: Andre Rienzo (-0.4 fWAR), Brian Omogrosso (-0.7 rWAR), Duente Heath (-0.6 WARP)

Important Number: 2.97, Chris Sale’s ERA, the only reason to watch the White Sox this year

2013 in Review

Before the season, prognosticators knew the Astros, Marlins, Twins, and Cubs would all have poor years. I’m not sure many of them saw the White Sox with the third worst record in baseball though. (I had them finishing third in the division.) No one thought they were especially good, but they had enough solid veterans to keep them from being terrible. Or so we thought.

As it turns out, the White Sox were a terrible team that aged rapidly. Nearly every player on their team was terrible offensively. The players that posted positive WAR values, were only in the black because of their defense. Two players posted positive offensive value for the White Sox in 2013: the traded Alex Rios and young prospect Avisail Garcia (acquired from the Tigers in the Jake Peavy trade).

Which brings up the next point. Out of all the teams that I mentioned being terrible in 2013, the White Sox are the only team that wasn’t in rebuilding mode entering the season. They started that rebuilding process at the deadline by acquiring the young Garcia and some other talent in the Rios deal. And this is a system that needed the influx of talent, they were rated 28 out of 30 teams entering the season by Baseball Prospectus.

2013 did show that the pitching staff has pieces to build around. Chris Sale has been fantastic and will be in the middle of a heated Cy Young race (more on that coming in October).  Jose Quintana has also been really good providing number two quality numbers. These two southpaws give Chicago a real core to build around, even as questions about Sale’s long term durability continue (I think his record speaks for itself: he’s started 30 games each year as a starter). The bullpen also has pieces that can be useful (especially as trade bait, relievers are really effective trade bait).

2013 in GIFs

The pitching delivery of Chris Sale has brought him a lot of success, but it also causes physical pain to me every time I watch it

What does it say that almost all the other White Sox related GIFs I found were of other teams’ successes? Beyond that I probably didn’t look very hard.

Offseason Preview

For the first time in a while the White Sox will enter the offseason in rebuilding mode. Alexei Ramirez should be made available. Paul Konerko might retire. Adam Dunn could be attractive to teams looking for a DH, but that $15 Million price tag is excessive The White Sox need to focus on putting the franchise in position to succeed for the future. I wouldn’t expect any splashy free agent deals, only the small pieces needed to actually field a team.

2014 Outlook

Losing. Really, I can’t expect much more out of the White Sox. They got some great pitching performances this year and will still lose almost 100 games. Even if the offense progresses (which to be honest it should, they can’t be this bad again next year) I don’t see how the pitching could possibly improve. This team needs a lot of work and should still be rebuilding. They’ll probably be the last place team in what could be a very tough AL Central next season.

Maybe Next Year: Miami Marlins

2013 Vitals (As of September 21, 2013)

Record: 56-98 (Last in the National League)

Runs Per Game: 3.19 (Worst in MLB)

Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.10 (13th in MLB, 7th in NL)

Best Player: Giancarlo Stanton (2.5 fWAR, 2.2 rWAR, 3.2 WARP)

Best Pitcher: Jose Fernandez (4.3 fWAR, 6.6 rWAR, 2.9 WARP)

Worst Player: Adeiny Hechavarria (-2.0 fWAR, -2.2 rWAR, -2.1 WARP)

Worst Pitcher: Alex Sanabia (-0.6 fWAR, -0.6 WARP), Chris Hatcher (-0.7 rWAR)

Important Statistic: 172.2, IP by 20 year old Jose Fernandez, his first year of service

2013 in Review

Not a lot went well for the Marlins in 2013, but they did find the core of what should be a very good rotation for years to come. Jose Fernandez was one of the five best pitchers in the National League and electrified Miami and the entire baseball world. But you already knew about him. You probably don’t know, though, about Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi who both put up very respectable numbers in 15 and 16 starts, respectively. They look like they will easily fill in the holes behind Fernandez in that rotation next year and beyond; providing a formidable rotation, even in the pitching heavy NL East.

On the other hand, the offense was really really bad. According to Fangraphs, three Marlins posted positive offensive value in 2013 (combining hitting and baserunning). Two of those players were outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich (who was called up in late July). The other? Starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez. Clearly, if the Marlins are going to start to rise back up, they need more offensive production.

2013 in GIFs

Note: GIFs may play better if you open in a new tab or window

via fishstripes.com 

via FanGraphs.com

Offseason Preview

Honestly, I have no idea what this team is going to do this winter. They could trade Stanton, and that seems likely given the number of reports about him. But those reports have all come from teams outside Miami wanting Stanton, not the Marlins and their intentions to trade him. Personally, I think the Marlins might actually want to keep Stanton as some sort of peace offering to a hurt fanbase. Outside of Stanton, there isn’t much that’s likely to be trade bait for the Marlins. They always could spend money if they wanted to, but it seems more likely that Loria pockets that cash. Ultimately, I think the team stands pats and hopes for internal growth.

2014 Outlook

Barring any major changes, the Marlins are going into the next season with basically the same premise as this year. Play the youngsters and hope enough of them progress to win some games. I can’t see any major improvement in their record though and, in the end, they are once again the National League’s cellar dwellars.

Maybe Next Year: Houston Astros

via ESPN

2013 Vitals (as of September 14)

Record: 51-96 (last in the AL West)

Runs Per Game: 3.99 (12th in AL)

Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.23 (15th in AL)

Best Player: Jason Castro (4.0 fWAR; 4.3 rWAR, 4.1 WARP)

Best Pitcher: Brett Oberholtzer (1.0 fWAR), Jarred Cosart (2.6 rWAR); Erik Bedard (1.5 WARP)

Worst Player: JD Martinez (-0.9 fWAR); Jimmy Paredes (-1.2 rWAR, -0.8 WARP)

Worst Pitcher: Paul Clemens (-1.2 fWAR); Lucas Harrell (-1.7 rWAR, -1.3 WARP)

Important Statistic: 1,384 K, worst (by far) in baseball, and probably second worst of all-time; 25.3 K%, worst of all time

2013 In Review

The Astros might have the worst record in baseball, but it showed promise. While they were a doormat in their new division (the AL West), they brought along several players that might be part of the next winning Astros team. Among the new standouts were Jason Castro, who finally showed why the Astros made him a top ten overall pick in 2008. His 129 wRC+ made him the second best hitting catcher in the American League (behind the Twins’ Joe Mauer). Third baseman Matt Dominguez, shortstop Jonathan Villar, and second baseman Jose Altuve all showed flashes of why they could contribute to this team for a very long time. (I’d include Chris Carter on that list, but I think he’s likely to be traded before the Astros win again. He’s a very good platoon bat who might be highly valued by a contender this offseason.)

 

The pitching side of the team likewise went through its ups and downs. Jose Veras and Bud Norris both acquitted themselves admirably before being traded to the Tigers and Orioles. Youngsters Jarred Cosart and Jordan Lyles showed flashes of their potential, with Cosart nearly throwing a no-hitter. In fact if you look at the game logs of most of the teams young pitchers, you’ll see games where they showed flashes of what their potential could be, mostly they pitched like young pitchers: struggling against a lot of better teams. It’s looking very likely that the Astros finish with the worst record in baseball for the third straight year, but it also looks like the Astros have a solid plan to win in the future.

2013 In GIFs

The emergence of Matt Dominguez

 

The Astros did this, a lot (I’d love to give credit but I don’t know where this is from, if anyone could help me out that would be awesome)

Offseason Preview

The thing about the Astros in 2013 that no one can stop talking about is their payroll, $13 Million. Looking ahead to offseason, it’s hard to believe that number won’t rise. For one, they have several players entering arbitration who could see raises. But I also believe that, if they see a player they like for their team in the future, the Astros wouldn’t be afraid to sign a free agent. Now, looking at this free agent class I don’t really see who that player, a player young enough to be productive for a contending team in three to four years, might be.

I also think the Astros might trade a couple of their players who have value now, but they don’t see contributing to their team in the future. This includes players like Carter and maybe even Castro, Altuve, or Dominguez. The Astros believe in getting value for pieces in the long-term and if they find a way to make that happen, they won’t be afraid to maximize their assets.

2014 Outlook

I think that in 2014, depending on what happens in the offseason, the Astros look like a team that will win more games than they did this year. They might even be able to sneak up to fourth place in the division. Ultimately, their team is built to start winning in 2015 and 2016 and 2014 is likely to only be a step toward winning in those seasons.

 

Evaluating the AL Wild Card Race with Two and a Half Weeks Left

With just about 15-18 games left, the AL Wild Card race is tighter than ever, with six teams competing for two Wild Card spots. The Red Sox and the Tigers have pretty much sewn up their division titles, while the Athletics have a fairly strong 3.5 game league and, should they cede that league to the Rangers, are virtually guaranteed a Wild Card spot. That leaves Tampa Bay, New York, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Texas competing for the two Wild Card Spots. Here are the contenders broken down in order of wild card odds as compiled by coolstandings.com.

 

Texas Rangers

 

The Rangers, with a 78.7% chance of making the playoffs are probably the safest team on this list. However, their schedule isn’t doing them any favors. They have, a three game series against the Athletics in Arlington this weekend. It’s the last time these two teams meet this season and if Oakland wins the series, that probably ends the Rangers hopes of a avoiding a Wild Card Playoff that knocked them out of the playoffs before the Divisional Series last year.

 

Then the Rangers kick off a seven game road trip against two Wild Card contending teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals. The four game series could be the defining series for the rest of the playoff hunt (for every Wild Card contender). If the teams split the series, both Wild Card spots could be wide open for the taking, while a sweep by either team probably cements their own playoff chances. The Royals series will probably be that team’s final gasp at making postseason noise.

 

But then the Rangers’ schedule ends on a fairly easy note. They go home for a three game series with the worst record in baseball Houston Astros and a four-game set with the often listless Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Honestly, looking at their schedule down the stretch, I don’t see the Rangers losing enough games to cough up a playoff spot. If they go just one game over .500 in that stretch (9-8), they finish with 90 wins and all the teams chasing them have to have at least 2 more wins than the Rangers over this stretch to win.

 

Tampa Bay Rays

 

Just three weeks ago the Rays looked like, at the very least, a lock for the playoffs and were in a tight battle with Red Sox for the Division title. Then, the wheels fell off. The Rays have gone just 5-13 over their last 18 games and have fallen to 8.5 games back of the Red Sox. In some ways they might be lucky that going into a difficult race to the finish they’re still in the playoffs. On the other hand, they only have a one game lead over the Yankees and, after a not as easy as you’d think series at Minnesota, take on the Rangers, Orioles, Yankees, and Blue Jays. If their slide continues against the Twins this weekend, they’re probably done. But as they’ve shown over the past couple of months, they can run very hot and cold and could find themselves back in commanding hold of a playoff spot with series wins against the Rangers, O’s and Yankees.

 

Cleveland Indians

 

The Indians, who have stuck around all year, could really excel in the final sprint of the season thanks to a very favorable schedule, as Shane Ryan of Grantland breaks down here. The Cliff’s Notes: 13 of the Tribe’s final 16 games are against league bottom dwellers Astros, Twins, and White Sox.

 

Adding to the schedule help, the Indians are peaking at the right time. Their pitching has really come together, especially Ubaldo Jimenez who has been quietly effective lately but Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, and Scott Kazmir have all been very good this year. They’ve used Ryan Raburn very effectively in a platoon situation, and the emergence of Yan Gomes as a quality starter at catcher has improved their defense by allowing Carlos Santana (a great hitter) to DH or hide at first base.  You look at their defense and Asdrubal Cabrera and Kipnis are very solid up the middle and they have a great outfield defense with Brantley, Bourn, and Stubbs from left to right. I think that this team combined with an easy schedule has a very good shot at making the playoffs.

 

New York Yankees

 

On August 5th, the Yankees were 57-54. They were five games back of the second Wild Card spot. And collstandings.com had them as a 3.4% chance of making the playoffs.

 

On August 5th I was (jokingly) telling anyone who would listen that Alex Rodriguez’s imminent return was going to propel the Yankees to the playoffs, and as everyone knows, once you make the playoffs anything is possible.

 

Since August 5th, A-Rod’s first game back in pinstripes, the Yankees have gone 22-14 and now sit only one game back of the Rays for the second Wild Card spot. Of course, while A-Rod’s return is the easy narrative in pointing at the Yankee resurgence, it’s more than just him. On July 26th, the Yankees traded for Alfonso Soriano. On August 2nd, Curtis Granderson returned from the DL. And, on August 16th, Mark Reynolds played his first game for the Yankees (he was signed as a free agent after being DFA’d by the Indians). All told, these players have combined for 4.6 fWAR as Yankees this year, and that win total rises when you consider that the players they are replacing combined for -1.9 fWAR (which doesn’t even account for whatever it is that Eduardo Nunez is doing out there). That’s a 6.5 win swing over the course of a month and a half.

 

Of course, the point isn’t to look at how the Yankees got here (which is remarkable and not at all dissimilar to what the Orioles did last year), but to look at what the Yankees will do over the final two and half weeks of the season. On that count, the outlook is a little up and a little down. The bad news is they just lost Brett Gardner for what could be the remainder of  the year with an oblique strain. While Gardner has undoubtedly been the second best player on the Yankees this year, he’s somehow also the most easily replaced with Granderson and Ichiro’s abilities to play center capably. (Normally I’d argue that it’s actually his leadoff ability to get on base that’s irreplaceable but Granderson has actually been very good at getting on base this year.) On the other hand, they are going to be replacing the statuesque (and I mean that literally) presence of Derek Jeter defensively at short stop and replacing him with the very good (defensively) Brendan Ryan. (While Ryan won’t be eligible for the playoffs, I imagine the Yankees will be quite happy to cross that bridge when they get to it.)

 

Their remaining schedule is likewise mixed. They have six games against teams over .500 in the Red Sox and Rays and nine games against poor teams (the Astros, Giants, and Blue Jays). That Blue Jays series could be the swing series. Intra-divisional foes, even last place ones, often play their rivals tough down the stretch, especially if it means keeping that team from reaching the postseason.

 

Kansas City Royals

 

The Royals schedule is going to make their march to October pretty difficult. It starts with three games against the Tigers this weekend, followed by three against the Indians, and then a three game set with the Rangers. If they can make it out of that gauntlet within two games of a playoff spot, then it actually gets easy with their final seven games against the Mariners and White Sox (all on the road). But here’s why that initial test makes their postseason quest that much more difficult: they would have to jump over both the Yankees and the Indians (who both have easier schedules) and jump either Tampa Bay or Texas. It’s doable, but they would have to win more games than three of those teams down the stretch and I just think that’s too difficult for this team down the stretch. But hey, at least they won’t be giving Jeff Franceour 193 plate appearances next year, and that alone could push them over the top.

Baltimore Orioles

I come not to bury the Orioles, but to praise them. They have played really well this year. Their offense has been insane, with Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado all putting up monster seasons. And, their defense has been at least as good, helping to make up for probably the second worst pitching staff in the major leagues. But, all the luck factors that helped the Orioles last year have come back to haunt them this year in a bad way. They’ve gone from an historically great year in one run games last year to having the worst record in the league in one-run games this year. And most of that has been the other fluky thing in baseball: bullpens. Last year, the bullpen was great. This year, with mostly the same players, the bullpen has been the fourth worst in the AL. At this point in the season, a sudden reversal of those trends seems unlikely and, just like the Royals, they have too many teams they have to jump over to make the second Wild Card. And, they have probably the hardest schedule of all of these teams, with ten games against the Red Sox and the Rays (and the rest of their games are against tricky intra-divisional rival Toronto). Unfortunately, I just don’t see the Orioles getting the magic they need to make it this year.

Baseball’s DUI Problem and Frustrating Refusal to Do Anything About It

Before you start reading I want to make it clear that most of the facts here come from this terrific article by Yahoo! Sports baseball writer Jeff Passan, which I heartily encourage you to read.

 

After months of speculation and hard work, Major League Baseball is expected to announce suspensions from the Biogenesis investigation this Friday for nine players. By suspending these players, suspected to include Nelson Cruz, Johnny Peralta, and Jesus Montero, among others, MLB purports to protect the game’s integrity by keeping performance enhancing drugs out of baseball.

 

Unfortunately, MLB has largely ignored another, more important issue that threatens to undermine the integrity of the game: DUIs. Over the past several years, multiple high-profile players and personnel have been arrested for driving under the influence but have gone unpunished by the league, including Miguel Cabrera, Yovani Gallardo, Tony LaRussa, and Coco Crisp.

 

DUIs present a significantly greater threat to the game than PEDs. When a player uses steroids, HGH, or some other banned substance, he only puts himself at risk. Sure, it could affect the outcome of a game, but no one else is hurt. When a player drives drunk, he’s not just putting his own life on the line, but the lives of everyone else on the road. Baseball players, of course, are also public figures whose actions tend to be highlighted and broadcasted and they have a responsibility to hold themselves to a higher standard of public conduct. Driving drunk undermines their image and the image of their league.

 

What’s most alarming about baseball’s willful ignorance of the issue is the heavy toll that drunk driving has already had on the game. In 2007 Cardinals’ pitcher Josh Hancock killed himself while driving drunk. Last year, Rays’ prospect Matt Bush killed a man by crushing his head with his tire while driving under the influence. And in 2009, Angels’ pitcher Nick Adenhart, along with several friends, was killed by a drunk driver just hours after his season debut.

 

And it’s Adenhart’s death that makes baseballs continued impotence on the issue not just befuddling, but angering. A promising young player was needlessly slayed and what does baseball do?

 

Nothing.

 

Well maybe they just needed a little bit to negotiate something with the MLBPA, but they should have come up with something in the last CBA, right?

 

Nothing.

 

Baseball should be trying to ensure that its players protect themselves and other to minimize any more tragedy. But when Yovani Gallardo was pulled over this April for driving with a 0.22 blood alcohol level, what happened?

 

Nothing.

 

No wait, that’s wrong, he had to pay the state of Wisconsin $778 in fines, which as Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan points out, is 0.0001% of his salary this season.

 

So while PED users stand to lose 50+ game checks for their crimes, anyone who drives drunk will only lose whatever their legally mandated fine costs them, which in the case of most professional athletes is a pittance.

 

By the way, Passan points out some off-field transgressions for which MLB did find cause to suspend players:

  • John Rocker got two weeks for racist comments

  • Kenny Rogers was suspended 13 games for shoving a cameraman

 

Ok, I’ve talked about the problem, but what do I think MLB should do to correct it? Well there are several solutions, all of which should be provided. For one, MLB does already provide alcohol counseling to its players. Another option is some sort of ride service for all players in all league cities. However, Passan reports that during negotiations over the CBA, the owners refused to implement this after players requested anonymity. Shame on you baseball.

 

Finally, suspensions should be assessed on all players arrested for a DUI, with escalating suspensions for multiple offenses, starting at 20 games for the first offense. Yes, 20 games. If you put other peoples’ livelihoods at risk you should have to give up three weeks worth of game checks. It’s also significant enough that baseball players would, hopefully, think twice before getting behind the wheel.*

 

*It could be pointed out that suspensions haven’t been much of a deterrent for PED users, but I think that’s a different cost/benefit analysis. Players stand to significantly benefit from using PED’s, even if they’re caught, just look at Melky Cabrera’s contract from the Blue Jays. If there is an anonymous ride service in place for players, there are no benefits and only costs to driving drunk.

 

So Bud Selig, I address this last part to you: you’re pursuing A-Rod like Ahab pursued his White Whale because you’re worried about your legacy. How will your legacy look if its tainted by your refusal to stop drunk driving in your league?

 

Scott Hairston Trade Means Nationals are Ready to Win in Second Half

 

Late last night the Nationals added Scott Hairston from the Cubs for a minor league pitcher. Adding Hairston, a right handed hitter who absolutely mashes lefties (.349 wOBA), is exactly the type of move a playoff team makes to solidify its bench for the stretch run.

There’s only one problem: the Nationals haven’t been performing like a playoff team so far this year, despite entering the season as heavy favorites to win the National League Pennant. After a recent hot streak, they sit just four games over .500 and, thanks to the Braves own poor play of late, are just four games out of first place. Still, this is a team that has straddled the .500 line most of the season.

The bigger additions for the Nationals all came in the last week when Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos came off the DL. Harper’s return restored the outfield to its opening day status and Ramos gives the Nationals their best backstop option, especially offensively.

Injuries had been (and continue to be) the primary reason the Nationals have underperformed this year. Harper, Ramos, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Dan Haren, Ross Detwiler, Jayson Werth, and Danny Espinosa have all spent time on the disabled list this season and several other players have been held back by nagging injuries. Just having most of these players back and healthy should help the Nationals win more games in the second half of the year than they did in the first. At only four games back, they have a realistic chance to win the division (Baseball Prospectus gives them a 29.1% chance of making the playoffs).

Which brings me back to the Hairston trade. While the Nationals haven’t played like a team that’s going to make a playoff run so far, but they’re starting to turn the corner. That’s why adding Hairston is a big deal, he shores up the right side of the bench that’s been lacking this year (Tyler Moore .169 wOBA vs lefties) . They might add another starter (though I think they’ll still have a great staff if they just get Detwiler and Haren back) and every playoff team could use bullpen help (just don’t pay too much for it). But the Nats are maybe the most complete team in baseball and their future still looks very bright.