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Washington Nationals

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Projected WARMarket Value

23.8 214


16.5 149


4.1 37


Projected WAR by grouping is from Fangraphs’ depth charts.
Historically each win is worth ~$9 million on the free agent market

Projected Team

  • Adam Eaton, LF
  • Trea Turner, SS
  • Bryce Harper, RF
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B
  • Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
  • Howie Kendrick, 2B
  • Matt Wieters, C
  • Michael Taylor, CF
  • Max Scherzer, RHP
  • Stephen Strasburg, RHP
  • Gio Gonzalez, LHP
  • Tanner Roark, RHP
  • A.J. Cole, RHP
  • Dave Martinez

Health Check

“Bryce Harper doesn’t want to talk about his future beyond 2018, which makes sense for a player on a team with World Series aspirations in a contract year, who just wants to focus on what he can control and the task at hand.

There will be no bigger (baseball) story in the nation’s capital over the next six months, unless the Washington Nationals can bring World Series baseball back to D.C. for the first time since 1933.

Harper, Daniel Murphy, Gio Gonzalez, and a number of relievers are set to hit free agency next winter, as is GM Mike Rizzo (though rumors of an extension for the General Manager are out there), and it’s not hyperbole to say that the franchise itself is at a crossroads and headed for some significant changes either way after the 2018 campaign.

Will the Nationals’ 25-year-old, 2010 No. 1 overall pick sign on long-term in Washington, or decide to take his talents to a new home? If they let Harper leave via free agency, do the Nationals slot Victor Robles in for Harper in right, wait for Juan Soto to develop, and then spend the money coming off the books and what they would have committed to Harper in what’s thought of as one of the best free agent classes in baseball history next winter?”

— Federal Baseball

Key Player

So much depends upon Bryce Harper, glazed with Gatorade-colored sweat, beside the White House... but for how long? Harper, before he was injured last August, was on his way to another MVP-worthy campaign, which would have been the second of his career, which is pretty ridiculous for a 25-year-old (or a player of any age, really).

Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are must-see pitchers every fifth day, Trea Turner’s speed is something to behold, third baseman Anthony Rendon has one of the prettiest swings in baseball, and the Nationals’ bullpen is actually fun to watch now with sinker-balling right-hander Brandon Kintzler, hard-throwing righty Ryan Madson, and bearded heat-thrower Sean Doolittle at the back end. On a day-to-day basis, though, Harper is the one to watch and the player who generates an expectant buzz each time he steps to the plate.

—Patrick Redington, Federal Baseball

Best Case

It would be easy to just leave a pithy scenario here like “win an NLDS, maybe,” and call it a day, but these Nationals deserve more than that. Or they should, anyway. That NLDS thing really is a perpetual downer. This is Bryce Harper’s last year under contract in a lineup full of talented young players, no longer held back by faltering pieces of the past like Jayson Werth. Adam Eaton, who logged just over 100 plate appearances in 2017 due to injury, will be back. The rotation didn’t improve, but it was already good, and both the bullpen and bench got better. The Nats were great, they look like they’ll still be great, and even with the Phillies trying to mount a challenge, NL East dominance should be assured.

Worst Case

Blowing it in any capacity in what is very likely Bryce Harper’s final year in a Nationals uniform is the go-to here, whether it happens in the NLDS or elsewhere. The Nationals will be good in the future even if they lose Harper, but getting nowhere with a roster that hit on Harper, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon in the draft still makes that truth difficult to appreciate.