Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

What if they’d kept the Band together?


It occurred to me, now that the Nats have sold off all their pieces and continued the dismantling of their 2019 championship team … wow, we’ve parted ways with a lot of very expensive players.

What would our team look like (in terms of payroll and lineup) had we kept all our big-time FAs over the past few years? Here’s a fun exercise, using 2022’s salaries.

  • C: Yan Gomes: $6M, flipped with Harrison for Millas/Shuman/Gausch in the 2021 purge
  • 1B: Josh Bell: $10M. Traded to SD with Soto in the 2022 purge for 6 player.
  • 2B: Josh Harrison: $5.5M. Traded away to Oakland with Gomes for Millas/Shuman/Gausch in the 2021 purge
  • SS: Trea Turner: $21M. Traded to LAD with Scherzer in 2021’s big trade to get Grey/Ruiz and assets
  • 3B: Anthony Rendon: $36M. Let walk as a FA, received a 2nd round supplementary pick that turned into Samuel Infante.
  • LF: Juan Soto, $17.1M. Traded to SD with Bell
  • CF: Victor Robles: $1.65M. He has remained our starting CF for four straight seasons now despite a carrer OPS+ figure of just 83.
  • RF: Bryce Harper: $26M. Let walk as a FA, received a 4th round supplementary pick that was lost to the Corbin signing.
  • DH: Kyle Schwarber; $19M. Traded to Boston in 2021 for Aldo Ramirez.


  • SP: Max Scherzer: $43M. Traded to LAD with Turner in 2021
  • SP: Patrick Corbin: $23M. Still here, posting a 7 ERA this season.
  • SP: Stephen Strasburg, $35M. Still here, might have a career-ending injury.
  • SP: Sanchez, Fedde, Ross all still here, a combined $6M or so.

The Bullpen is fungible, so we’ll just skip it from a salary and focus on the above.

Total payroll for this set of players and starters? $251M. For 14 players, no backups, no bullpen and no 40-man. Probably estimate $8M for your backups, $15M for your bullpen, $3M for the rest of your 40-man, and $16M for benefits and that’s a payroll figure of $293M. $60M more than the salary cap threshold, and still not as much as the Los Angeles Dodgers are spending this year.

Would we be a winning team with this lineup? Well, we’d certainly still have a starting pitching problem, since $58M is going to two players who are actively hurting the club (Corbin has a -3.4 WAR this season!). But the lineup would be a monster. How’s this for a lineup: Turner, Soto, Harper, Schwarber, Rendon, Bell, Harrison, Gomes and Robles. Phew. Good luck getting through that lineup 4 times a night without giving up some runs. Of course, some of these guys are hurt in 2022, so this wouldn’t actually be our lineup .. but hey, this is a fantasy post.

Just a fun thought exercise.

Written by Todd Boss

August 8th, 2022 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Nats in General

2 Responses to 'What if they’d kept the Band together?'

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  1. The sale of the club can’t come soon enough!
    This organization needs some positive energy,something lacking now.

    Mark L

    9 Aug 22 at 8:38 am

  2. well the kids are playing in FLA today with Cox so far 2-2 and Green just hit a home run. that’s a start!


    9 Aug 22 at 1:10 pm

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