According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Nationals plan to pursue a veteran starter this offseason and hope to sign the hurler to a long-term contract.
Nats general manager Mike Rizzo, manager Jim Riggleman and team president Stan Kasten shared interest in John Smoltz and Vicente Padilla this month before the veterans were scooped up by the Cardinals and Dodgers, respectively. "That's the type of guy we are identifying now," said Riggleman, "people like that over the winter."
The Nats signed 34-year-old right-hander Livan Hernandez on Tuesday night, but may have their sights set higher. Erik Bedard, John Lackey and Rich Harden are among the big-ticket arms that will be available this winter. Of course, those guys will be looking for major contracts, both in money and length, and will have their choice of several interested clubs. A pitcher like Doug Davis or Randy Wolf might present a more realistic fit.