The Washington Nationals are World Series champs, and plenty of fans would be thrilled if this exact team returned in full, but baseball is a business, and we know that won't happen.
Washington has some big-time free agents they need to make decisions on, as well as some key figures when it comes to their team chemistry. With budgetary concerns in mind, here are three players who definitely won't be back on the Nationals roster next year.
3. RHP Fernando Rodney
Fernando Rodney is 42 years old and is becoming a free agent. After a year where he struggled to get outs on a consistent basis, you have to imagine he won't get many phone calls and he'll just call it a career, especially now that he's a World Series champion. Even though they won the whole thing, the majority of Washington's bullpen struggled throughout the series, with rested starters picking up key outs instead (that's what rotation depth can do for you!). The Nationals need to address this weakness, and it starts by not bringing Rodney back.
2. 2B Brian Dozier
Brian Dozier provided the Nationals with some power from the second base position, belting 20 home runs on the season, but he totaled just seven plate appearances during the postseason, including just one during the World Series. He's obviously not someone the organization has complete faith in, so they'll just let him walk in free agency.
1. 1B Ryan Zimmerman
This is a tough one. Ryan Zimmerman was the first ever draft pick by the Nationals organization, and he's spent his entire 15-year career with them. However, he has an $18 million club option for 2020, and from a pure business standpoint, it makes sense to pay the $2 million buyout, as Zimmerman is no longer the dependable run producer he once was. Will he return on a short-term, cheaper deal? Or will he walk away from the game entirely? The second option seems more likely, with Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg (likely) commanding new deals.