Gio Gonzalez/Do The Nats Add Another Starter?
With Stephen Strasburg signed to a seven-year extension earlier this season, the Washington Nationals will likely not be big players on the free agent market for starting pitching. The only question in their rotation right now is Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has a $12 million team option going into next season, I would expect the Washington Nationals to pick that up because they don’t have many left-handed starters and with the price of starting pitching these days, $12 million isn’t that much.
However, even if they bring back Gonzalez, I do think they could use some veteran depth in the rotation. Last year, the Nats signed Bronson Arroyo, but he never pitched a game for them. In the middle of the season, they signed Mat Latos, who appeared in six games and even hit a home run.
If Strasburg’s health continues to be a concern, the Nats need to add some veteran depth so they don’t have to rely heavily on Joe Ross, Reynaldo Lopez, and Lucas Giolito. With the lack of dominant starting pitching on the free agent market, the pitching prices might go up for average pitchers this winter.
Down the stretch, Gonzalez was mediocre to say the least. He had a 7.43 ERA in his final five regular season starts and he couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning in Game 3 of the NLDS. Rotation won’t be a significant need for the Nats this winter. But, the rotation could be more of a strength in 2017 if Gonzalez somehow bounces back.