Washington Nationals 2011 Season Preview
The Washington Nationals lost their power bat in the offseason but made a huge free agent splash that left some baseball people shaking their head.
The Nationals probably could have kept first baseman Adam Dunn had they really wanted to, but didn't seem interested in signing him to a long-term deal. He left and signed with the Chicago White Sox.
To replace Dunn, the Nationals waited patiently on the free agent market before finally signing Adam LaRoche. He doesn't have the pop that Dunn has, but he will be an upgrade defensively at first base.
The big splash came in the form of outfielder Jayson Werth, who signed a seven-year contract worth well over $100 million. It was a surprising deal for a late bloomer who has really only had two good seasons in his entire career.
Of course, much of the offseason attention has centered on pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg and his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Everything is on schedule at the moment, but it's highly unlikely that he will pitch at all this season.
The Nationals could improve slightly this year, but don't look for any major change in the won-loss column. The loss of Strasburg was devastating, and Werth and LaRoche are only so much of an upgrade over Adam Dunn.