The Washington Nationals are apparently one of nine teams in violation of Major League Baseball's debt service rules, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. This means the Nationals have a debt that is over 10 times the amount of their annual earnings.
It's not exactly clear how big a deal this really is, because ultimately it's on commissioner Bud Selig to make a judgment call on whether the debt violation is serious enough to be a problem going forward. Former commissioner Fay Vincent finds the news "troublesome," but he finds everything troublesome. If the debt issue is a short-term blip, then it's nothing to be concerned about. If there's potential for the debt to be a serious long-term problem, like with the Dodgers and Mets, then it's a serious problem.
At this point, we have no clue whether the Nationals' situation is a short-term or long-term one. So for now, let's file this away and see where it leads.