The Nationals, he says, have properly groomed their trade leverage in the first 48 hours after the deal The on-background message being dispensed through reporters is that Washington intends to keep all of its starting pitching, including Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister, who are eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.
“The Nationals don’t have to address their surplus now; they have time to slow-play this, to go through the process of talking with all teams again, of even going into spring training and seeing if some injury in another camp makes another club desperate — as the Braves were last spring, after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy got hurt.”
“After letting the trade market develop, some executives with other teams fully expect the Nationals to move either Zimmermann or Fister. “Because they don’t need all six guys,” one official said. ”
He says the Marlins and the Mets are the big losers.
“The Marlins have loaded up during the offseason, investing big dollars in Giancarlo Stanton and trading for Martin Prado and Dee Gordon, but now have to overcome what appears to be a superteam to win the NL East.”
“But the Marlins are in a better position than the Mets, because not only do the Mets have to try to find a way to beat the Nationals, but they may also suffer from the wrath of a fan base increasingly angry at the team’s unwillingness to have much more than a small-market payroll.”
“The Mets are inhabitants of the best media market in the free world, with a loyal fan base built over more than a half-century — and yet they have a payroll that will be about two-thirds the size of that of the Nationals. In the eyes of a lot of Mets fans, that makes no sense. And they are right.”