Washington Nationals: Which Closers Are A Good Fit?
By Matt Weyrich
Beyond the big three free agent closers, there is a clear drop-off among available players. However, the Royals’ Wade Davis is right up there with the other elite closers and the team is actively weighing offers for the two-time All-Star.
Davis just wrapped up an injury-riddled 2016 campaign in which he accrued a 1.87 ERA across 45 appearances. A forearm strain forced him to the Disabled List on two separate occasions, but when healthy he’s one of the best closers in baseball. Over the past three years, Davis’ 1.18 ERA is the lowest mark among pitchers who relieved at least 80% of the games they appeared in.
The biggest caveat to Davis’ value is that he only has one year remaining on his contract before hitting free agency. Whoever acquires him will have to pay his pricey $10 million salary for 2017 while also having to give up a decent set of prospects.
Davis would provide a temporary stopgap for the Nats at the closer role just as Melancon did, but the team appears to be more interested in finding a more permanent replacement. Davis’ injury concerns are real, and while he has a proven postseason track record and provide a good veteran presence, the Nats would be better suited allocating their prospects somewhere else.