The Washington Nationals will do everything in their power to repeat as world champions in 2020, but face a tougher task now that Anthony Rendon is in Anaheim. Josh Donaldson presented the best possible fix at the hot corner, but he decided to sign in Minnesota Tuesday evening. Now, the Nats have to move on and entertain additional options, starting with a big-time trade offer or two.
3. Go Big for Nolan Arenado
The Nationals have the budget to pay Nolan Arenado, especially if the team expects him to opt out of his deal after 2021. He is a superstar both on offense and defense, and is one of the only third basemen on earth who presents a plausible upgrade over Rendon. The cost would be high, but the Nats need to maximize results while their current core is in place.
2. Promote Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom is the organization's top prospect, and would be requested as part of any major trade. The alternative is for the Nationals to promote him and slide others around, as Kieboom could play pretty much anywhere other than first base. The 22-year-old is a 2016 first-round draft pick and got a taste of the majors in 2019; the team can opt to trust Kieboom for now and make a big trade if needed in July.
1. Chase Kris Bryant
Kris Bryant is under team control through 2021 in Chicago, and the Nationals could get him for less than what it would take to acquire Arenado. The Cubs are open to trading him, and Washington could add the former NL MVP as a bright shorter-term solution who could potentially stick around longer if he enjoys his stay. Bryant is a career 25.1 WAR player in five seasons, and would cost far less in salary than either Donaldson and Rendon.