Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals focused on ‘taking care of their own guys’


The Washington Nationals promise to have a stellar starting rotation for the 2014 season. They added Doug Fister via trade to a starting rotation that already features Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, and Gio Gonzalez.

Would it be crazy for them to also go after 25-year-old Masahiro Tanaka? It seems unlikely with the arms they already have in their rotation, but as Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post points out, they would have the money to pursue him if they wanted. Boswell checked in with general manager Mike Rizzo about that issue and the team’s approach to the rest of the off-season.

Rizzo says that Washington is happy with the moves they have made, and will now focus internally on taking care of contract extensions for some current players:

They ‘don’t plan to be a player’ in the competition for Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, Rizzo says, even though the Nats’ guesstimate his total cost might be $120 million, a range at which they could compete.

Instead, they prefer to concentrate on ‘taking care of our own guys,’ trying to get extensions done for Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond.

It makes sense that the Nationals have already made their big moves by adding Fister and hiring new manager Matt Williams. Still, it is hard to rule anybody out of the Tanaka bidding because his age (25 years old) makes his situation unique. And while it appears the Nats will not be involved, if that were to change for some reason it would be the ultimate case of the rich getting richer.

Tags: Washington Nationals