Washington Nationals: What to expect in Winter Meetings based on simulation

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: General Manager Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals introduces Manager Dusty Baker (not pictured) at Nationals Park on November 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: General Manager Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals introduces Manager Dusty Baker (not pictured) at Nationals Park on November 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Signing Pat Neshek

Mid-season acquisition Brandon Kintzler did a fantastic job in the back-end of the Nats’ bullpen in 2017, but he is now a free agent. Kintzler will likely be pitching elsewhere in 2018 because he was an All-Star closer with the Minnesota Twins in 2017, so someone will recruit him to be their closer. However, the Nats already have Sean Doolittle as closer, so they cannot offer this.

If Kintzler departs, the Nats will have a need for another late-inning reliever to complement Doolittle and Ryan Madson. In order to fill this need, I signed veteran reliever Pat Neshek to a two-year deal worth $12 million.

Neshek spent 2017 between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies, and had an excellent season, despite being 37 years old. Coors Field is also arguably the most difficult ballpark to pitch in, yet he succeeded.

In 2017, Neshek pitched to a 1.59 ERA in 71 appearances, which is dominant. He may be old for a pitcher, but his unorthodox submarine delivery allows him to remain successful.

If the Nats sign Neshek, he can primarily pitch the seventh inning and set things up for Madson and Doolittle. This formula worked wonderfully for the Nats in 2017, and they should attempt to use it again in 2018.

Neshek would also serve as a great veteran presence for the Nats’ younger relievers, such as Koda Glover, Enny Romero, and Wander Suero. He has been in the majors for 11 seasons, and has been extremely successful.

A two-year deal may seem like too much for a 37-year-old reliever, but Neshek has defied Father Time and remained successful with his unorthodox submarine delivery.

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