Washington Nationals: 5 Scott Boras clients to watch

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a two run home run against the Chicago Cubs in the eighth inning during game two of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a two run home run against the Chicago Cubs in the eighth inning during game two of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Jake Arrieta

Of all of Boras’ free agents, Jake Arrieta may be the best fit with the Nats. The fifth spot in their rotation is currently up for grabs, with no clear frontrunner. A.J. Cole, Edwin Jackson, Erick Fedde, and Tommy Milone would compete for the job if Spring Training started today, which is a terrifying thought for some Nats fans.

The Nats appear to be willing to begin the season with an unestablished fifth starter, but Arrieta is a potential fit for the job. He is a Boras client, which is enough in itself, but he has also established himself as one of the most dominant pitchers in the league.

The Nats also have several starters whose days in DC may be coming to an end. Gio Gonzalez‘s contract expires after 2018, Tanner Roark‘s contract expires after 2019, and Stephen Strasburg has opt-outs after 2019 and 2020. If Arrieta were to sign with the Nats, he would become a fixture near the front of the rotation for years to come.

Although the Nats do not necessarily need Arrieta, it would not be the first time they signed a starting pitcher represented by Boras without a pitching need. Prior to the 2015 season, the Nats signed Scherzer, adding him to a pitching staff that already included Strasburg, Gonzalez, Roark, Jordan Zimmermann, and Doug Fister.

However, the Nats appear unwilling to meet Arrieta’s demands. He is reportedly seeking a contract similar to Scherzer’s, but he is older and his arm has undergone more stress. If Arrieta does not significantly decrease his asking price, any hope of him coming to DC will be dashed.

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