US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg could be a playoff ace, but the Nats would need more pitching.
Clearly, the Nats as currently constructed aren't on par with the Tigers, Rangers, Brewers or Cardinals. And they're not on the same level as the four clubs who got knocked out during the division series: the Yankees, Rays, Phillies and Diamondbacks.
But none of those teams is flawless. Each is lacking something that would make its path to a World Series title a little bit easier, whether it's pitching depth, more potent bats, crisper defensive play or more reliable bullpen arms.
So it's not like the Nationals need to achieve perfection to place themselves on the same pedestal as the clubs currently battling for a championship. They do, however, need to add something to the current roster to approach that elite level.
The question is: What are they most lacking?
Is it another front-line starting pitcher? Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann certainly would make for a daunting 1-2 punch in the postseason, but who would be the No. 3 starter? John Lannan? Chien-Ming Wang? Ross Detwiler? Another reliable veteran from outside the organization sure would help.
Or are the Nationals more in need of a top-notch leadoff hitter? They've got some big bats in Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa, but they could use a true table-setter at the top of the lineup who gets on base at a nice clip and provides all those mashers with plenty of RBI opportunities.
Then again, maybe what the Nats lack most is another potent hitter that would help create some depth to their lineup. Most of those October participants seem to get significant production out of their No. 7 and even No. 8 hitters.
Or do the Nationals need to fortify their bullpen with a shutdown lefty? Or do they need some more reliable bats off the bench who can come through in a pinch late in a tight ballgame?
In an ideal world, they'd add all of those pieces and then really have something special in the works. But for these purposes, let's assume they can only add one more key piece to the puzzle. What one player would you add to the mix if you could play GM?
Submit your choice in the poll in the top right corner of the homepage, then give your reasoning here in the comments section.