The Washington Nationals became a franchise in 1969 as the Montreal Expos. The club eventually switched to the Washington Nationals in 2005, which is where they remain today. The team has one World Series title, which came in 2019. Including Jackie Robinson‘s number 42, the Nationals have four numbers retired (no. 10 is retired by both Andre Dawson and Rusty Staub). Here is a potential all-time starting lineup for the Washington Nationals.
1. Trea Turner, Shortstop (2015-Present)
Trea Turner finished as the 2016 Rookie of the Year runner-up. He slashed .342/.370/.567 in 73 contests that season. His numbers dropped the next year in 2017, but his OPS has gone up each year from 2017-2020. In 2020, he finished in seventh in the NL MVP voting. Turner had a .982 OPS that year with a MLB leading 78 hits in a shorted regular season.
2. Tim Raines, Left Field (1979-1990, 2001)
Number 30 was retired by the organization in 2004
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2017
Tim Raines is a seven-time All-Star, and he made those All-Star games consecutively from 1981-1987. He also had a stretch from 1982-1986 where he played in at least 150 regular season games each year. Raines had at least 179 hits in each of those seasons as well, including 194 of them in 1986. Raines finished his career with Montreal having a slash line of .301/.391/.437.
3. Vladimir Guerrero, Right Field (1996-2003)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2018
In Vladimir Guerrero’s eight seasons with the Expos, he hit 234 homers, 226 doubles and had 702 RBIs. He finished three seasons with an OPS of over 1.000, including his career best 1.012 OPS in 2003. From 1998-2002, Vlad hit 197 long balls, which gave him an average of over 39 homers per year in those seasons. He finished his Expos career with a .588 slugging percentage.
4. Ryan Zimmerman, Third Base (2005-2019)
Although Zimmerman was on a decline for some years at the end of his career, he still retired as a World Series champion. Zimmerman homered in his first World Series plate appearance against Gerrit Cole in game 1 of the series, which Washington won 5-4. Zimmerman played his whole career as a National, slashing .279/.343/.475 in 1,689 regular season games. He also hit 270 career long balls.
5. Andre Dawson, Center Field (1976-1986)
Number 10 was retired by the organization for a second time in 1997.
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2010
Andre Dawson started accumulating accolades early into his career by winning Rookie of the Year with the Expos in 1977. He stayed with the team through 1986. He picked up six Gold Glove awards and three Silver Sluggers in that time. Dawson was the runner-up for the NL MVP in 1981 in a year where he slashed .302/.365/.553.
6. Jose Vidro, Second Base (1997-2006)
Jose Vidro had a solid career for parts of 12 seasons, 10 of which were with the Nationals. He had 1,280 hits and 550 RBIs in his time there. In 2000, Vidro had a single-season high in hits (200), doubles (51) and home runs (24). From the years 2000-2004, Vidro made all three of his career All-Star games, won a Silver Slugger award and had at least a .367 OBP in each of those season.
7. Gary Carter, Catcher (1974-1984, 1992)
Number eight was retired by the organization in 1993
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2003
Gary Carter spent the bulk of his major league career with the Expos. In 6,019 plate appearances, Carter slashed .269/.342/.454. He hit 220 homers and 274 two-baggers in those plate appearances as well. Carter is an 11-time All-Star, seven of which came as an Expo. He also won both three Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards in his time with Montreal.
8. Andres Galarraga, First Base (1985-1991, 2002)
Andres Galarraga did not have his best stats with the Expos, but they were still solid. In his time with Montreal, Galarraga made one All-Star game, won a Silver Slugger award and was a two-time Gold Glove winner. The year he made the All-Star game is the same year he won a Silver Slugger in 1988. That year, he led the National League in hits (184) and total bases (329). Galarraga was seventh in the NL MVP standings that year.
9. Max Scherzer (2015-Present)
As of the end of the 2020 season, Max Scherzer has been with the Nationals for six seasons. He has 1,118 regular season innings pitched there with a 2.80 ERA. He won back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2016 and 2017, then was the runner-up for the award in 2018. Scherzer has solid Postseason numbers with Washington as well. In 49 1/3 innings pitched, he has a 2.92 ERA with 57 strikeouts. In the teams’ World Series run, Scherzer pitched 30 innings with a 2.40 ERA in the 2019 Postseason.
Relief Pitcher- Jeff Reardon (1981-1986)
Jeff Reardon is one of the few players on this list to not debut with the Nationals organization. He joined the club in 1981 and posted a 1.30 ERA in 41 2/3 innings that year. Reardon pitched 506 1/3 innings with the Expos, posting a 2.84 ERA with a 398 strikeout to 178 walk ratio. From 1982-1986, Reardon pitched in at least 62 games with at least 87 innings pitched in each of those years.
Featured Image Courtesy of NBC Sports.