86 wins - The Nationals finished their 2013 campaign with losses in five of their final eight games, leaving them with a total of 86 on the year. They ended up ten games behind the Braves in the NL East and four games behind Cincinnati in the wild card race. 86 is a respectable mark, their second highest total since moving to Washington, D.C. to become the Nats. It also leaves them with the 20th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. The recent history of the 20th pick is pretty awful as you can see here. There have, however, been some major hits over the years. The last All-Star picked 20th overall was actually Chad Cordero, taken by the Montreal Expos in 2003. Here are some of the best to go No. 20:
2003 – RHP Chad Cordero, Montreal Expos
2002 – OF Denard Span, Minnesota Twins
1998 – LHP C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians
1997 – IF Adam Kennedy, St. Louis Cardinals
1993 – OF Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins
1990 – RHP Mike Mussina, Baltimore Orioles
1977 – RHP Bob Welch, L.A. Dodgers
Now we wait - Mike Rizzo made it clear this week that the Nationals’ first priority this offseason will be hiring their new manager. The only problem is, those out of the postseason generally respect the playoffs by not making major announcements until the Fall Classic is over. The Nationals will be in the process of finding their new manager, but in the meantime it may take weeks of rumors and debate before we find out who it is. Could the Nats make a decision soon? Sure, but it will likely drag well into November before we hear who the new skipper will be.
Now we watch - The Nats may not be in the postseason, but it should be an entertaining October for baseball fans. Who is the favorite at this point? Vegas has the most likely World Series matchup as the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, which makes sense. The Tigers, Cardinals and Braves round out the top five, respectively. If I had to make a pick for what will happen, I would go with the Tigers over the Braves. Give me Detroit in five games.