Washington Nationals: Grading Mike Rizzo’s 10 best free agent signings

bfoley
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: General mananger Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals speaks to the media before game four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: General mananger Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals speaks to the media before game four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
11 of 11
Next

Matt Albers (2017)

Looking for answers to their flawed bullpen, the Nationals signed Albers to a minor-league last winter. Albers did not yield a single run in Spring Training, but Washington still released him before the start of the season.

More from District on Deck

Soon after though, Rizzo brought back Albers and promoted him to the majors. He took it from there, and posted by the far the best season of his career at 34 years old. Albers posted a 1.62 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP, and held opposing hitters to a .165 batting average. He was the one constant in the Nationals bullpen for the entire year. A top-10 reliever in WAR for just $1.5 million is a bargain, especially after the Nationals missed out on bigger contracts for splashier free agents (though Rizzo gets docked a bit for releasing Albers in the spring).

Apparently, Albers is expected to sign a two-year deal with a team next week, but it is not known which team. It is unclear if the Nationals are interested in retaining Albers, especially after locking in Brandon Kintzler alongside Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.

Grade: A

Next: Could the Nats and Rays swing a trade?

Rizzo’s contract expires after the 2018 season, so he may not have too many more signings left in him. However, even if he does not sign another free agent with the Nats, he has certainly left his legacy.

facebooktwitterreddit