Washington Nationals: Who Should Close in 2017?
With Kenley Jansen heading back to the Dodgers, the Washington Nationals are still left looking for a late inning option out of the bullpen, but their answers lies on the free agent market.
The Washington Nationals were dealt a huge blow Monday when closer Kenley Jansen agreed to a five-year deal to re-sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This is yet another swing and miss for Mike Rizzo and company. After failing to land Chris Sale, Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman, and Jansen, the Nationals have struggled to acquire top talent this winter, to say the least.
They were able to acquire Adam Eaton though, albeit the hefty price. The Nationals dealt top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, as well as Dane Dunning for him. A bold move to say the least. Eaton will add to what already is a very good Nats lineup.
The Nationals were also able to acquire San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris to fill the void behind the plate with Wilson Ramos‘ departure. Eaton and Ramos both fill big holes for the Nats, but the void that still isn’t filled is in the backend of the bullpen.
It’s been a struggle to find a closer, or even a spot reliever. That doesn’t mean the Nationals can feel sorry for themselves because, in order to compete for a National League pennant, they need to have a deep, reliable bullpen. Their options are a plenty, but some make more sense than others.