4.) Some much needed health
I’ll still stand by the belief that if Anthony Rendon, Denard Span, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jayson Werth had each played 150 games this season, the Nationals would have claimed the division title. Matt Williams would still have a job, and there probably would have no reason to trade for clubhouse cancer Papelbon. The injuries were not really the main problem for the Nationals — it was the timing.
All the injured players came back at once, and as expected, all slumped at once. It takes time for players to get their swing back after extended time off, and at times, the Nationals had a third of their lineup attempting to get its swing back all at the same time. That proved to be very difficult to overcome very late in the season. Werth and Rendon eventually picked it up, but Zimmerman went down with another injury.
There are very few addressable holes in the Nationals lineup. Nearly every starter is locked in for next season, and it’s likely the Nationals will not look to upset the apple cart too much by trading or signing a big name. Getting Werth, Zimmerman, and Rendon fully healthy for spring will be one of the biggest keys to having a successful 2016 season.