By Sam Bush
The Nats were expected to make a strong title defense in 2020.
Even with stars Juan Soto and Max Scherzer, they failed to reach the postseason.
Injuries were a big problem — particularly to starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, first baseman Howie Kendrick and second baseman Starlin Castro.
But the Nats also weren’t helped by the play at one crucial position: center field.
According to FanGraphs WAR, Washington’s center field production ranked last in the majors.
George Springer is regarded as one of the top five free agents available, and he proved last season that his production wasn’t dependent on sign-stealing in Houston. With Scherzer (36), Strasburg (32) and Patrick Corbin (31) all on the wrong side of 30 but still productive when healthy, the Nationals might be motivated to improve their roster and try to maximize their potential to win with this core.