5 More Moves The Washington Nationals Could Make This Offseason
5 Offseason Moves for Washington Nationals
This past week, Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals were very active in their offseason plans. They made a big trade for a big name and made an important free agent signing.
Last Monday, news broke that Washington had made a deal with the Detroit Tigers to acquire starting pitcher Doug Fister in exchange for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and minor leaguer Robbie Ray. Washington certainly got a sweet deal, as they gave up three expendable players while acquiring one of the MLB's best pitchers.
On Friday afternoon, Washington signed former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth to a two-year deal with a third-year option. He’ll likely step into a fourth outfielder role, and will be available offensively off the bench. He has a solid bat and plays solid defense, and is another good signing by Washington.
The offseason is still young, however, and there’s plenty of players left available for Washington. They still need to address their lack of left-handed pitching in the bullpen, and second base is a place where some improvements could be made, although it’s not essential.
On the following five slides, you’ll find five more moves that we could see the Nationals make before the offseason is over. It’s important to note that this is purely speculation, but these are logical moves based off of past rumors and needs that the Nationals currently have.
Pulling off any one of these moves, or more, would be beneficial for the Nationals come 2014. There is still some work to be done for the Nationals, and making any of these moves would only make them better heading into next season.
5. Sign Boone Logan
Washington needs left-handed pitching in the bullpen, and they need it badly. In 2013, Boone Logan pitched to a 3.23 ERA over 39 innings of work for the New York Yankees with 50 strike outs. Logan could be acquired for a fairly cheap price (below $3 million per year), so Washington should get in touch with his agent.
4. Sign J.P. Howell
This sticks with Washington’s need for a left-hander in the ‘pen. Over 62 innings of work in 2013 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, JP Howell finished with a 2.03 ERA and 54 strikeouts. Over the past few seasons, Howell has only gotten better, and Washington looks to sign him as he begins to hit his prime in his career.
3. Sign Eric O'Flaherty
Probably my favorite left-handed target for the Nationals, Eric O’Flaherty pitched well for the Atlanta Braves in 2013. While he only got 18 innings of work in 2013 due to Tommy Johns surgery, he finished with a 2.50 ERA. By looking at his past, it’s obvious that he’s worth the risk. In 2011, O’Flaherty pitched to a .98 ERA over 73.2 innings and a 1.73 ERA over 57.1 innings in 2012. He won’t come cheap, but he’ll be worth it.
2. Sign Omar Infante
Washington needs some boosting at second base. While it’s not crucial that they do so, signing Omar Infante would be a great upgrade from Anthony Rendon. Infante held a batting average of .318 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI. In the field, he finished with a 98 percent fielding percentage. It’s not crucial that they make this move, and probably not very likely, but it would be a definite improvement.
1. Trade Denard Span
After signing Nate McLouth this past week to a contract cheaper than Denard Span, could Mike Rizzo be looking to shop Span? Span will be entering the final year of his contract in 2014, and Washington will be facing a decision between a $500,000 buyout, or a $9 million club option. Span currently has a lot of value after the way he finished the season. Now that Washington has McLouth, someone who can become an everyday starter in the outfield, could Span be headed out in a trade?