Nats look­ing to move on

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - WASHINGTON NATIONALS -

Will they be bet­ter with­out Bryce?

The Na­tion­als ap­pear to have moved on from free agent Bryce Harper, their big­gest star the last seven sea­sons.

They signed Pa­trick Corbin, a fron­tend lefty who slots in nicely be­hind or be­tween Max Scherzer and Stephen Stras­burg, as well as Ani­bal Sanchez, who has still shown he can be dom­i­nant at 34, and a ser­vice­able Jeremy Hel­lick­son for the ro­ta­tion.

They added Brian Dozier, a sec­ond base­man with pop, and two above-av­er­age catch­ers in Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki (Sanchez’s per­sonal catcher last sea­son with the Braves). Wash­ing­ton also signed ex­pe­ri­enced bullpen depth in Trevor Rosen­thal and Kyle Bar­r­a­clough be­hind closer Sean Doolit­tle.

It al­ready had two outfield prospects in Vic­tor Robles (21) and Juan Soto (20) with All-Star po­ten­tial.

Is the ro­ta­tion the NL’s best?

Scherzer is the clos­est thing to a sure thing as an ace. Stras­burg has been that type of pitcher as re­cently as 2017.

Corbin has had one dom­i­nant sea­son (go­ing 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and 11.1 strike­outs per nine in­nings last sea­son) but it could be he break­out.

No one in the NL — if not the ma­jors — can match that top 3 while Sanchez is as good a No. 4 starter as you’ll find. Hel­lick­son fits nicely into the No. 5 spot while Joe Ross and Erick Fedde pro­vide depth.

— Stephen Borelli

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