<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

#MLBFrontOffice: What's next for the Washington Nationals?

The Nationals are expected to lose both shortstop Ian Desmond and starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann via free agency this offseason. Getty Images

The Washington Nationals were one of the most disappointing teams in baseball in 2015. They were mired in injury woes for most of the season -- not until late August did they have their expected starting eight position players on the field at the same time -- and a starting rotation that was expected to be the best in baseball fell far short of those expectations. In fact, they'll finish the season without a single starting pitcher winning 15 games, and only Max Scherzer finished with an ERA under 3. Meanwhile, Doug Fister lost his job in the rotation, Gio Gonzalez will finish with a 1.42 WHIP, and Stephen Strasburg made only 23 starts.

The Nationals do have a strong ownership group, however, and one of the best GMs in baseball in Mike Rizzo, and I expect this organization to turn things around this offseason and be right back in contention next year. Let's remember that the Nationals won 98 games in 2012, 86 games in 2013 and 96 games in 2014. They didn't meet expectations this season, but they still haven't had a losing season since 2011.

Here's what's next for the Nats:

Objective No. 1: Decide on their next manager

The Nationals are expected to relieve Matt Williams of his managerial duties after Sunday's game and will look for a different leadership type going forward. The next hire will be the most important of Rizzo's career as the Nats seek to rebound.