The more I think about the Gorzelanny trade the more I like it. Last year the Nats were going to open the season with a rotation like this
Marquis (presumed healthy)
Lannan (presumed healthy)
with the other two spots filled in from some combination of : Scott Olsen (retread), Shawn Estes (retread), Miguel Batista (retread), Aaron Thompson (unproven), Craig Stammen (unproven), Garrett Mock (unproven), Shairon Martis (unproven), Matt Chico(unproven), Collin Balester (unproven), J.D. Martin (unproven), Chein-Ming Wang (mid-season injury return), Jordan Zimmermann (mid season injury return) and Stephen Strasburg(mid-season call-up, technically unproven). That's a lot of arms! Surely something good will come of these, right?
When Detwiler went down, in came Livan (retread), but you saw how the season progressed. The Nats never did nail down that #5 spot and when Marquis and Lannan both went down with injuries things got bad.
This season the Nats are slated to open with a more defined rotation of
Livan (presumed healthy - upgrade from "retread" since last year was good)
Marquis (major injury in 2010)
Lannan (major injury in 2010)
Zimmermann (major injury in 2009)
with pretty much the same jokers you see above gunning for a role if someone fails, replacing Olsen with Luis Atilano (unproven), and changing Strasburg's status to (mid season injury return). Well dammit if this year didn't look that much more secure than last year. Sure the injury returnees should be fine, but I'd bet one of them isn't and there's no guarantee Maya will make it. Add in a Livan collapse and within a month the Nats could be scrambling for 3 pitchers again.
There are a lot of question marks and as last year showed, just because something isn't a question at the beginning of the year doesn't mean it won't be at some point. Rizzo saw the rotation really needed another arm and tried to get a number 1, because, well... why not? But failing that he didn't just pack it in and say "we'll go with what we got"... well actually he DID but then he made the deal, which I hope shows he's learning. There is value in security and bringing in Gorzelanny gives the Nats more security that a healthy major league caliber arm will be filling a rotation spot. It may not be flashy but it's an important step in being a respectable team.