There has been a lot of movement going on in the National League East. While the activity has swirled, the Nationals have remained calm and steady. The Atlanta Braves are looking to add another pitcher for the pennant race, going after the best available starters. Just as quickly as the Miami Marlins picked up players in the offseason, they have recently dumped them. The New York Mets have indicated that they would like to purchase some new talent, but their season has started to head south. The Philadelphia Phillies signed their young southpaw starter to a huge contract, and they could make some additional moves.
Thus far, the Nationals have continued to win while choosing not to alter their roster.
The activity that has taken place in the division could play to the Nationals' advantage. The Marlins have basically thrown in the towel. The Mets can't improve their bullpen because they don't have a highly-coveted player to offer in exchange. Even though the Phillies addressed their pitching future, they still have concerns regarding their current roster. Despite signing Ben Sheets, the Braves need to add depth to their rotation, and in order to do that, they will probably have to give up a young prospect.
In early May, the Marlins swept the Nationals, which caused fans to believe that they were a team to be reckoned with in the NL East. Since that time, they have underachieved and ownership decided to go in a different direction, all but admitting they made a mistake in the manner they used to build the team.
Last week they got rid of three-time all-star infielder Hanley Ramirez, right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez, reliever Randy Choate, and infielder Omar Infante.
The Braves are still looking to strengthen the back end of their rotation, which has been a glaring weakness all season long.
The Phillies signed Cole Hamels to the second-largest contract ever for a pitcher (six-year, $144 million extension) but what will they do to improve their lousy bullpen? Similarly, the Mets are also faced with the quandary of how to solve bullpen deficiencies.
While the division rivals alter their rosters, the Nationals may add some middle infield depth that they have been looking for. However, there is no aspect of their roster that is glaringly weak. And with all of the deals that have taken place within the division, none of them seem to have created any additional challenges for the Nationals.