2. Washington Nationals
Seen by many as this offseason’s biggest winner, the Nationals signed ace Max Scherzer to a 7-year deal. Scherzer will join a rotation already featuring Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez. That makes for, on paper, the best rotation in baseball, and that’s not even mentioning Tanner Roark, who now becomes an extremely over-qualified bullpen arm. On the offensive side, the Nationals look good too, boasting Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Ian Desmond, and Jayson Werth. Zimmerman has slowed down production-wise the last couple of seasons, but the Nats are hoping the move the first base will reduce the wear and tear on his body and keep him on the field more. Many people see the Nationals as the number one team in baseball thanks to the Scherzer signing, which is why you might be wondering how the Nats are number two here. Well, the problem for me is, the Nats have small holes in center field and second base. Sure, Denard Span had a career year in 2014 that saw him produce a line of .302/.355/.416, but at 30 it seems unreasonable to expect those same numbers again, especially since the last time Span produced like that was in 2005 with the Twins. Then at second base, Yunel Escobar is serviceable, but hardly ideal, as the 31 year-old has hovered around .250 the last 3 seasons, granted though he does get on base, hanging around .325 over the last 4 seasons. Slight upgrades at both these positions (AKA not Nate McClouth and Dan Uggla) could be used if the Nationals want to become even more solid than they are already.