Washington Nationals: A theoretical week as GM this offseason
By Blake Finney
Day 7 – Bring in the last two veterans
One of the major criticisms of the Washington Nationals in 2018 was that, at times, they lacked some veteran leadership in the clubhouse. So while the second base situation, as things stand, is ok with Howie Kendrick the starter, bringing in veteran Brian Dozier makes a ton of sense.
Fresh off a World Series loss to the Boston Red Sox in six games, Dozier is a free agent for the first time in his career. But it couldn’t have come at a much worse time for him as he seemed to have his worst offensive season since his rookie season in 2012.
Now feels like the perfect time to pounce. He and Kendrick can share the load at second base, all while adding a valuable dugout presence after he was somewhat of a leader in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse.
He’s getting desperate for a World Series ring as he pushes on in his career and feels that D.C. might be the place to do it. We initially put a simple one-year $10 million offer on the table, as we look to have him fill the gap until Luis Garcia is ready.
However, he wants to invest into the city, and asks for a three-year $24 million deal so he can truly commit. In the end, he settles for a two-year pact that has a player option for a third year. He picks up the mantle from Adam Eaton as the team’s gritty, determined, energetic player.
Contract Signed: Brian Dozier signs a 2-year, $14 million deal with a player option for $7 million
All of this ends up leaving one spot left on the bench to fill. While we secured Ryan Zimmerman on the previous day, we could definitely do with a bit more insurance at first base in the likely scenario he has to miss time again.
Midseason, the Philadelphia Phillies managed to grab Justin Bour from the Miami Marlins for virtual peanuts. But with Carlos Santana on the roster, they can’t afford to keep both for the whole of the 2019 season.
You may remember when the Phillies dealt the Nats Howie Kendrick in a similar deal, so this isn’t unprecedented. Matt Klentak gets nervous on the phone when we speak, he knows my reputation at this point and is scared of getting fleeced too.
He panics and asks for McKenzie Mills. Mills was the player the Nats sent to the Phillies in that Kendrick deal. He’s flustered. I tell him we don’t have Mills, but we can send him Luis Reyes, who was down in the Arizona Fall League and the trade is done. My week as Nats GM concludes with a bargain basement bench bat.
Trade Completed: Philadelphia Phillies receive Luis Reyes. Washington Nationals get Justin Bour.