It has been a busy couple of days for top-of-the-order hitters moving to NL contenders, with the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly signing free agent Dexter Fowler away from the Cubs and the Washington Nationals trading for Adam Eaton. Each ranked as a high-end outfielder in 2016. Fowler had the first 4-WAR season of his career. Eaton, playing right field, turned in a 6-WAR season with the help of some outstanding defensive play.
The Fowler move was a counterpunch for the Cardinals in a couple of respects. With Eaton off the board, it reduced their number of outfield options. And getting Fowler meant helping themselves while taking away a key player from a division rival.
Limited Mens Tommy McDonald Jersey
And though there are many difference between the two players, there are a number of ways in which the Cardinals basically got a match for Eaton (contracts notwithstanding).
But much like the guys behind Door No. 5, when it comes to the dudes behind Door No. 6, there are flaws abound. Treinen¡¯s never done it before, so it remains to be seen whether he has closer DNA. Shawn Kelley had trouble keeping the ball in the park to the tune of a 4 percent home run rate, the eighth highest among NL relievers (min. 50 innings pitched). And Glover has a five-plus ERA in all of 19 2/3 career innings.
Terrence Ross Game Jersey
So where does that leave the Nationals? Well, they¡¯re no stranger to closer issues. In 2012 and 2014, they got bounced from the NLDS thanks largely to heartbreaking, late-game meltdowns by the back end of the bullpen. In 2015, they went big and acquired Jonathan Papelbon, but that didn¡¯t work out so well either. Last season, they traded for Melancon at the deadline, and although he was solid as advertised, they still got jacked up by the Dodgers in the division series.
Heading into 2017, their roster says they¡¯re the presumptive favorites to repeat as NL East champs. But for that to happen, and more importantly for them to go deep into the playoffs, they¡¯ll need a guy that can consistently close the door. But first they¡¯ll need to open the door. Only time will tell which door that is.