Washington Nationals: Which Closers Are A Good Fit?
By Matt Weyrich
The Washington Nationals were unable to re-sign free agent closer Mark Melancon, who joined the San Francisco Giants on a four-year deal Monday afternoon. Who are the other options available on the market?
Heading into the Winter Meetings, the Washington Nationals were expected to be making headlines with blockbuster trades and record signings. There’s still plenty of time for all that to happen, but so far Washington has stood pat while their former closer inked a contract with San Francisco.
Mark Melancon signed a four-year deal worth $62 million, according to several reports. This leaves only two widely coveted closers left on the free agent market. Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen will likely garner contracts of even greater value than Melancon’s, the only question that remains is whether or not they’ll be willing to write the check.
With so many ninth inning catastrophes over the past few seasons, it isn’t difficult to see why the Nats would be so intent in signing one of the more elite closers on the market. The reliever market doesn’t end at Chapman and Jansen, however, as there are several options both through free agency and trade that the team could consider.
The Nationals have a top-heavy farm system that features several promising stars but not much depth. With the team in talks with the Pirates and White Sox for Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale, it is unknown whether any of these prospects will be available in a trade for a reliever. As it stands now, however, Washington has the flexibility to do just about anything.