Best roster award: Nationals
January, 18, 2013
By Jason A. Churchill | ESPN Insider
The game isn't played on paper, but s the Washington Nationals are likely be the favorites to win the National League East and one of the top choices to win the World Series. They made the postseason this past season and have made some improvements to their pitching staff and to their outfield.
The one major loss -- Michael Morse, who was traded to Seattle earlier this week -- will be replaced offensively by Denard Span who will also give good defensive value at one of the most important positions in center field. Everyone else returns, and the club is likely to get a production boost from a healthy Jayson Werth, who played in just 81 games in 2012, and Wilson Ramos, who managed just 25 games played. The club will also have Kurt Suzuki for a full year and the further development of phenom Bryce Harper could be the biggest addition.
Ian Desmond may have been the most improved player in baseball last season, both offensively and defensively and there's little reason to believe he's going to take a step back, and second baseman Danny Espinosa is capable of more than the .247/.315/.402 triple-slash he put together.