Washington Nationals Rumors: Nats to Target Starting Pitchers

Greg Fiume

The Nationals had a dominate rotation last season, but GM Mike Rizzo is not resting on his laurels. He is looking to add another arm to the rotation in place of Edwin Jackson and everyone is on his radar.

Despite having the best team ERA in the National League in 2012, the Nationals are still targeting top tier starting pitching, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. He cites the Nationals need to win now as the driving force behind their hunt for another starter and points out that GM Mike Rizzo "loves" right-hander Zack Greinke, though he may not be willing to meet his price.

Zuckerman believes the Nationals might be in on many of the less expensive starter options as well this off-season, naming Dan Haren, Ryan Dempster, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, and Brandon McCarthy among others as potential options. He also notes that Rizzo has been very willing to look to the trade market in the past. If that is the route that Washington takes, the Rays might be a perfect partner. Tamp Bay is shopping James Shields and could even look to move David Price this off-season. The Nationals have a large cache of young talent that they could deal to bring in more pitching.

The National already have Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler returning to the rotation. National starters had the best ERA and FIP in the National League last year, so their need for starter is far from dire. Edwin Jackson, who made 32 starts for them last season is a free agent however and the team just non-tendered swing man Tom Gorzelanny and starter John Lannan. They may also be looking to bolster their bullpen, Zuckerman notes, which has had more turnover.

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