The Washington Nationals had quite a team when they won the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros.
Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Patrick Corbin, Trea Turner, Howie Kendrick… it was an extremely talented team, one that has seen player after player slowly said goodbye to the franchise in the last three seasons.
The Nationals have reported major turnover since that title-winning 2019 campaign, and Wednesday’s spring training game is the perfect proof.
“Aníbal Sánchez vs. Miles Mikolas today in West Palm Beach, rematch of ’19 NLCS Game 1. Four Cardinals from that night’s lineup playing behind Mikolas today. Zero Nationals from that night playing behind Sánchez today. (Soto’s here, just not in lineup),” Mark Zuckerman, a Nationals reporter for MASN Sports, tweeted,
Aníbal Sánchez vs. Miles Mikolas today in West Palm Beach, rematch of '19 NLCS Game 1. Four Cardinals from that night's lineup playing behind Mikolas today. Zero Nationals from that night playing behind Sánchez today. (Soto's here, just not in lineup)
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) March 30, 2022
What Happened To Those 2019 Nationals?
Of that talented 2019 team, only Soto, Corbin, and Strasburg remain besides Sanchez, who was actually out of MLB last year but was invited to spring training in 2022.
Corbin is a part of the current Nationals rotation, but Strasburg has been battling injuries.
Soto, of course, is the star of the team, and nearly won his first MVP award last year but ended up losing the race to Bryce Harper.
Kendrick and Zimmerman are retired, Rendon took a huge deal from the Los Angeles Angels after that 2019 campaign, and Scherzer was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last year and is now with the New York Mets.
Turner joined Scherzer in their trip to Los Angeles last year, and remains with the Dodgers.
Rumors say that the Nationals refrained from signing some of those players to long-term deals in an effort to save money for Soto’s blockbuster contract.
In fact, the star already rejected $350 million from the Nationals.
He prefers to go year by year, though, and is starting to get expensive.
In any case, we can at least say that the Nationals took advantage of that strong 2019 core and got a title out of them.