You do not want your trade targets to be negotiated in public, and with Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale it has felt that way. Neither worked out, and Mike Rizzo’s staff must start over on other trade and free agent targets and look to Adam Eaton, Chris Archer and Alex Colome as possible targets.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained is another way to look at what has happened so far. As we speak, Trea Turner, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning, Victor Robles, Juan Soto, Erick Fedde, Andrew Stevenson, and Carter Kieboom are all still members of the Washington Nationals’ system. Each player has been mentioned in various trades. Some of those players are off-limits even though the rumor mill has mentioned each of those names.
With that said, the Nationals still have work to do as you cannot rest on your laurels. To speak of 95 wins in 2016 is past tense. That was a team with Mark Melancon, Wilson Ramos, and other players no longer with the Nats.
The Nationals did re-acquire Derek Norris, but he does not replace the production of Wilson Ramos, and the Nationals no longer have a presumptive closer. Add to that the need for a seasoned centerfielder to replace Ben Revere is still potentially an open spot unless the Nats look to the middle infield.
With that said, Mike Rizzo has shown the adroitness to get back to a point where he can improve his team in other ways. Last off-season, Rizzo failed to acquire both Ben Zobrist and Brandon Phillips. Instead of doing nothing, Rizzo pulled off the shocker of the off-season acquiring Daniel Murphy, who was the team’s MVP, late in December 2015.
Expect the same this time with Mike Rizzo. He will make deals, but it might not be the way some fans want it done or in a time frame conducive to schedules set by others.