Washington Nationals: Predicting what their 12 free agents will do

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Brandon Kintzler
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Brandon Kintzler /
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washington nationals
washington nationals /

Jayson Werth

When the Nats signed Jayson Werth prior to the 2011 season, they were a perennial loser and were among the worst teams in the league. However, he helped transform them into a World Series contender and has completely changed the franchise.

Now, Werth’s massive seven-year deal has come to an end. He has been great for the Nats both on and off the field, and will likely be the last Nats player to wear the number 28.

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At 38, Werth is not the player he once was. He can no longer hit .300, he has regressed defensively, and he is no longer a stolen base threat.

However, he is still valuable. He transformed the Nats’ clubhouse atmosphere throughout his seven years with the team and is one of the veteran leaders.

If Werth is interested, the Nats should consider bringing him back on a one-year deal in a lesser role. He is still a quality hitter capable of grinding out at-bats and makes a big difference in the clubhouse.

With a new manager, Werth’s veteran presence could ease the transition. Between this and his pinch-hitting ability, he would be worth re-signing. Obviously, he is not going to start over Eaton, Taylor, or Harper, but he could be valuable off the bench.

It’s not a given, but Werth seemed to enjoy his time in DC and has said he wants to bring the city a championship, so it’s not far fetched to think he may be open to returning in a lesser role.

Next: Matt Wieters opts to stay

The Nats have addressed one of their biggest off-season questions by hiring Dave Martinez to be their new manager. Now, they must determine what to do with their 12 free agents.