Beast of the NL East

Published On: Feb 02 2012 10:56:34 PM EST

I know it's Super Bowl week, but a minor move happened today in baseball that not many people probably noticed.  The Washington Nationals signed free agent starting pitcher Edwin Jackson to a one-year contract.

You're probably thinking, yeah, big deal.  Well, it may seem minor, but it's just another major addition to a division that has a chance to be the toughest in baseball.

I bring this up because, as we know, the Miami Marlins call the NL East home.  While the Fish have made a splash this offseason with the additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buerhle and Carlos Zambrano, the Phillies, Braves and Nationals have also kept pace or gotten better.

Take the Nationals, for instance.  Few people in South Florida know that Washington won 80 games last season.  Adding Jackson to a staff that also added Gio Gonzalez this offseason, and already had Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg, gives the Nats a top rotation for 2012.  Washington also added veteran Brad Lidge to the bullpen.

Plus, we already know the Phillies and Braves have all-star quality starting rotations.

That makes it imperative for the Fish to keep their staff healthy, in particular the oft-injured Josh Johnson.

Miami is also still pursuing Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes to bolster the offense.  The more the better to compete in this division. 

Much has been made about the Marlins spending big money and moving the payroll north of 100 million dollars this season.  By the looks of things, they'll need to make every penny count to keep up in the NL East.

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