Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post spoke with GM Mike Rizzo about the upcoming offseason. Rizzo did a good job addressing the offensive issue this past year, adding power hitters Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham, as well as acquiring leadoff hitter Nyjer Morgan.
The pitching, however, needs some work.
The Nationals pitching staff owns the worst ERA (5.12) in the the majors, and lead the league in the most home runs surrendered. Their pitching staff should be better with the additions of first round picks Stephen Strasburg and reliever Drew Storen, who are expected to join the team by midseason. Rizzo is confident that he can add another starter from the free agent class, hopefully one that can lead the young and inexperienced rotation.
Randy Wolf could be an option after putting together two healthy seasons; however, he will miss his next start with elbow irritaton. Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro is having a great season, and may be an option if the Nationals were willing to give him a two or three year deal. Teams may pass on Piniero because of his spotty track record, which may give the Nats an opportunity to sign him.
The Nationals could also try to firm up their bullpen by adding a veteran arm, perhaps a veteran closer. Billy Wagner will be a free agent and could be swayed into signing with the Nationals to get back at the Mets and Phillies. It is a tough sell, but it's worth a shot.