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Stephen Strasburg looks set to dominate for a full season in 2013.
And of course, that would be the defending division champions, the Washington Nationals. The perennial bottom-dwellers and former Montreal Expos finally broke out in 2012, surging to the best record in baseball at 98-64.
A disappointing Divisional Series exit at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals was a bitter pill to swallow, but NL Manager of the Year Davey Johnson and the rest of his crew took the offseason by storm to pick up some reinforcements.
Among those new signings is speedy outfielder Denard Span, whose defensive prowess will aid Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper in the Nationals' outfield and will be a strong top-of-the-lineup presence. The club also re-signed veteran first baseman Adam LaRoche, who had an excellent 2012.
In the pitching department, the Nationals added former Angel and Diamondback Dan Haren, who will join a rotation featuring youngsters like Gio González, Jordan Zimmermann… and, oh yeah, Stephen Strasburg, who will pitch this season with "no restrictions" (via New York Times).
They also added formidable closer Rafael Soriano to lock down close games.
Basically, the Nationals look like they've gotten stronger to match the Braves getting stronger. This will be very intriguing battle to watch in 2013.