Members of Washington’s front office began outlining their plans for the Winter Meetings on Monday after general manager Mike Rizzo arrived late in the afternoon, preparing for a flurry of meetings over the next few days that the Nationals are hoping will produce activity in what has thus far been a quiet offseason.
It’s been a whirlwind of a month for new Nationals manager Dave Martinez, a month that has included helping with the hiring process for his new coaching staff and preparing to take over a team with World Series aspirations.
The Nationals will offer up three items in this year’s charity auction during the Winter Meetings, including the chance to be a media member for a day, a mascot appearance by Screech and Teddy and a Nats grounds crew experience.
Like a number of teams so far this offseason, the Nationals have mostly been dormant. But this past weekend has seen two major pieces move, perhaps setting the stage for a flurry of activity when the Winter Meetings begin Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Nationals played unofficial host for the 2016 Winter Meetings, as the event was held just outside of D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. So it was only fitting that they were right in the middle of seemingly every major move during the most memorable Winter Meetings in team history.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez never initially envisioned even himself as a coach. After a 16-year playing career, he thought perhaps he might be good at it, but it was too much travel. Plus, he had four children at home.
Even though the Nationals do not seem poised for the biggest headline-grabbing move at the Winter Meetings, which run Monday through Thursday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., they would like to begin kicking this quiet offseason into gear.
The Nationals remain optimistic about second baseman Daniel Murphy’s status for Opening Day after he underwent debridement and microfracture knee surgery on his right knee on Oct. 20, even though it is still a bit early on to tell.
The Hot Stove season has gotten off to a slow start across Major League Baseball and the Nationals are no exception. Once the club completed the hiring of its coaching staff, it has not made any additions to the roster for next season.
The Nationals have a plan to increase the production from their catchers next season, which could involve relying on a different mix of their current backstops, instead of any external upgrades.
Building a bullpen has become sort of a winterly tradition in Washington, one that a year ago gave Nationals fans stress as the team searched for an established closer. This offseason should present a much easier task for the Nats, however, considering they already have two key relievers in place entering 2018.