Nats HatOl’ Robbo was delighted to see this afternoon that his beloved Nationals had signed five key players to short-term deals, thereby avoiding arbitration.  This leaves only two others – pitchers Fister and Clippard – who need to be taken care of, and I’ll bet that happens very soon.   (We just picked up Fister from the Tigers – a brilliant move, and Clip is invaluable in the 7th inning.  The Nats would be idiots to let either go.)

With just under a month before pitchers and catchers report, it is, of course, waaaaay too early to prognosticate about the 2014 season, but I have to admit that I can feel teh excitement rising already.  The core of last year’s team is returning intact, we’ve made some major upgrades to our rotation, bullpen and bench, and nobody else in the Division looks to be on the same trajectory as us.  (Teh Braves have, I think, reached maximum altitude and will fade.  Phils, Mets and Marlins? Feh.)

Of course, we still need some moar bench depth and bullpen firepower and  to sort out the fifth pitcher’s spot.  Also, things always “happen” during Spring Training.  So as I say, predictions are premature.  But the main wildcard in Robbo’s mind at this point is the fact that we have a new manager this year, Matt Williams.  Not only is he a new manager to us, this is in fact his first job skippering in the Majors.  How will he handle it?  How will he mesh with the guys and with the Lerners?

Given these unknowns, from what little I know about the biznay of baseball it strikes me that this raft of short-term deals makes even more sense.  Why tie anyone down long-term until you know what the chemistry is going to be?

Anyhoo, we shall see what we shall see.  I confess that I didn’t attend a single game in person last season (although I watched the majority of them on teevee), but I intend to rectify that dearth this year.  In the meantime, what can I say except