2009 Washington Nationals Season Outlook
It was a relatively quiet offseason for the Washington Nationals, who are still in the midst of building a team.
Then things got pretty crazy when general manager Jim Bowden got caught up in a scheme that alleged he was pocketing signing bonus money that should have been going to players the team was signing from the Dominican Republic.
Bowden refuted any involvement in such dealings only to finally resign from his position a couple of weeks into spring training.
Owner Stan Kasten has stepped into the role of general manager for the time being, which is a scary thought. There is a reason owners hire general managers to make personnel decisions, and I suggest the Nationals quickly do the same.
Another problem for the Nationals is that their new ballpark is still not enough to entice fans to come watch them play. It's a major concern considering the stadium and the team are both still new to Washington.
There was a bright spot in the offseason as well, as the Nationals reeled in slugger Adam Dunn via the Bowden connection to the Cincinnati Reds.
Dunn is the type of signing the Nationals hope will bring more fans to the ballpark. If nothing else, Dunn is an entertaining player because of the moonshot home runs he slugs to right field.
A smaller move involved the signing of pitcher Daniel Cabrera, who won't have to adjust too much after spending his entire career just a short drive up I-95 with the Baltimore Orioles.
There is no doubting Cabrera's talent, but he can never seem to put it all together over long periods of time. Maybe a change of scenery was just what he needed to finally find the consistency necessary to become a quality major league starter.
Cabrera hopes to be a part of a rotation that really wasn't all that bad last year. If the offense could have given the pitchers some run support, the Nationals record wouldn't have been all that bad.
Either way, don't look for the Nationals to be contending for anything but a respectable record in a division that was already competitive and improved significantly in the offseason.