In a few weeks, pitchers and catchers of the Washington Nationals report to Viera and Melbourne, Florida. Which means it's time to review the changes the Nationals made to their roster.
From Ivan Rodriguez to Eric Bruntlett, the Nationals made a lot of moves, both big and small.
At the end, I will tell you my prediction for the Nationals in 2010.
If I left an acquisition off this list, leave me a comment. I also wanted to publish this article as a slideshow, but Firefox (and Google Chrome. And Internet Explorer) was being stupid and it wouldn't let me publish.
Ivan Rodriguez, Catcher
The veteran backstop will go down in baseball history as one of the greatest catchers in ever.
However, Pudge is well past his prime. He should be an excellent mentor for the Nationals' pitchers and catchers.
Matt Capps, Pitcher
Capps is a 26-year-old reliever, who has flown under the radar because he has played for the Pirates in Pittsburgh (AKA: The City of Champions...and the Pirates).
Capps had some really good numbers, until last year. Before 2009, Capps had ERAs routinely in the low 3.00. Last season, in 57 games, he had a 5.80 ERA with a 4-8 record, 27 saves, a WHIP of 1.66 and an opponents batting average of .324.
Brian Bruney, Pitcher
Bruney, who will turn 28 before the season, has been an up and down pitcher for the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Last season, in 44 games, Bruney had a 5-0 record with a 1.83, a WHIP of 1.51 and an opponents batting average of .153.
Through his career, Bruney has a 16-10 record, a 4.27 ERA, a WHIP of 1.54 and an opponents batting average of .231.
Jason Marquis, Pitcher
Marquis was among the best in a seemingly very week pitching free agent class.
Marquis has had a very up and down career. He could have 15 wins one year and 15 losses the next . His ERA can go anywhere from the mid 3.00s to the high 5.00s.
His stats last year: 15-13, 4.04 ERA, a WHIP of 1.38 and an opponents batting average .267.
Chris Duncan, Outfielder
Duncan was literally just acquired by the Nationals a few days ago.
He, like Marquis, has had an up and down career, only when Duncan gets down he really gets down.
In a stretch in 2006 and 2007, Duncan had 43 home runs, 113 RBI and a .273 batting average.
However, in 2008 and 2009 he had just 11 home runs, 59 RBI and a .239 batting average. Midseason in 2009, he was traded to the Red Sox for Julio Lugo—the guy who the Red Sox were begging to give away.
Duncan will likely won't make the Nationals out of Spring Training.
Eddie Guardado, Pitcher
Guardado, 39, has been in the big leagues since 1993, and at times, Guardado has been among the elite relievers in the game.
No matter how bad Guardado seems to do, another team is always willing to give him a chance.
Guardado could provide a reliable arm out of the bullpen, but he might not.
Guardado's stats last season: 1-2 record, 4.46 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.41.
Doug Slaten, Pitcher
Slaten only appeared in 11 games in 2009, and in those 11 games 7.11 ERA.
Slaten might not even make the Nats out of Spring Training. Hopefully, he'll be able to rebound, but he might not.
Slaten's 2008 stats, his last full season: 0-3 record, 45 games, WHIP of 1.45 and an opponents batting average of .260.
Ryan Speier, Pitcher
Speier, 30, is another player who's had an up and down career. In his four-season 90-game career, Speier's ERA has gone up more each year: from 3.65 to 4.00 to 4.06 to 4.76.
His career ERA is still 3.99. Speier may find a spot in the Nationals' bullpen, but he may also spend most of the 2010 season down in AAA.
Speier's 2008 stats (his last full sesaon): 2-1 record, 4.76 ERA, WHIP of 1.37.
Joel Peralta, Pitcher
For the last two seasons, Peralta has been nearly abysmal. ERAs of 5.98 and 6.20 in 2008 and 2009, playing a total of 67 games in both seasons combined.
Peralta will likely play the majority of the season in AAA. Don't expect him to be called up unless in an emergency.
Peralta's 2009 stats: 27 games, 0-3 record, 6.20 ERA, WHIP of 1.58.
Orlando Hudson, Infielder
OK, so the O-Dog isn't officially a member of the Nationals. But a deal is approaching, and I think the Nats are going to get it done.
Hudson should be a positive influence over the young nucleus of players in the Nationals clubhouse.
Hudson's 2009 stats: .283 average, nine home runs, 62 RBI, .357 OBP and a slugging percentage of .417 for an OPS of .774.
Orlando Cabrera, Infielder
Cabrera was once a Montreal Expo. Cabrera was one of the last players traded by the franchise. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox, and won a World Series that same year.
Cabrera will likely be brought on if the Nationals can't get a deal done with Hudson. It's unlikely that Cabrera will be signed if the Nationals already have Hudson.
Eric Bruntlett, Infielder
Bruntlett has already been signed by the Nats, unlike the two preceding infielders.
Bruntlett should be a decent utility guy and backup for whichever Orlando the Nationals end up signing.
Bruntlett is also known as "That Guy Who Turned The Unassisted Triple Play To End That Game Against The Mets."
Bruntlett's 2009 stats: career-low .171 batting average, no home runs, one unassisted triple play, seven RBI, .224 OBP and a slugging percentage of .238 for a Mendoza-esque OPS of .462.
Chuck James, Pitcher
James last played in the majors in 2008. He was a free agent from December 12, 2008 until he was signed by the Nationals on January 25. 2010.
In seven games in 2008, James had a 9.10 ERA, a 2-5 record and a WHIP of 1.89.
James will likely spend his tenure in Washington in AAA.
Tyler Walker, Pitcher
Walker, 34, was pretty good in 32 games last season for the Philadelphia Phillies. In fact, it was one of the best of his career.
Walker's season-to-season stats seem to be very erratic, so there's no saying how well Walker can do for the Nats in 2010
Walker's 2009 stats: 2-1 record, 3.06 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.38.
The Nationals should be getting better for 2010. Ryan Zimmerman has already said that the Nationals won't lose 100 games again. Acquisitions like Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Marquis will definitely help the Nationals.
Prediction: 73-89, fourth in the NL East.