Washington Nationals Mock Signing: Zach Britton completes strong bullpen

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09: Zach Britton #53 of the New York Yankees reacts in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09: Zach Britton #53 of the New York Yankees reacts in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The FanSided MLB General Manager Simulation roars past the halfway point. In our first fake signing, we brought Zach Britton to the Washington Nationals.

Once again, at the start of this piece, it’s important to emphasize that this signing is part of the FanSided GM Simulation and not a real signing. But in this simulation, we managed to add to the fake Washington Nationals bullpen with the signing of Zach Britton.

Much like the mock Ian Happ trade from yesterday, improving the bullpen was something of a middle priority entering the sim. However, with the free agent market rapidly developing, it was important to make a move or risk missing out.

The real-life Nationals did some of the hard work with the bullpen after the additions of Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough. That left fake GM Blake Finney only really looking for a big left-hander to round out the relief pitching corps.

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Initially, we wanted to pursue Andrew Miller on a two-year deal to try and be what Josh Hader was to the Milwaukee Brewers last year, and the type of reliever Miller was previously with the Indians in 2016 and 2017. However, we lost out on Miller to the New York Yankees, and then quickly turned our attention to Zach Britton.

While Britton isn’t quite as devastating against lefties as Miller, he has still restricted lefties to a measly .178/.242/.233 slash line as a reliever, with 88 strikeouts in 89.1 innings worth of work in that situation. So even though we aren’t paying him to necessarily be a LOOGY, it’s a role he could thrive in if we need him to step in there.

So, knowing we missed out on Miller, we were late to the party for Britton as a few teams had already bid on him to get the price up. The Philadelphia Phillies were in the lead with a 3-year, $32 million and were ready to seal the deal with the former Baltimore Oriole.

Then we stepped in and trumped their offer with a $36 million offer over the next three years for an annual average value of $12 million. While the price is arguably a little high for someone who we don’t intend to slide into the closer’s role, it makes perfect sense given his previous domination in the late innings.

That now completes our Fake Nats bullpen, and even leaves some ok depth in Triple-A or Double-A. Here is the eight-man bullpen that we would be going with:

The bullpen appears to have a perfect balance across the eight pitchers. There are lockdown arms at the backend in Doolittle, Rosenthal, and Britton, but there are also players who can go multiple innings in Grace, Suero and even Miller. This should make Nats fans feel a whole lot more comfortable going into the late innings of games in 2019 and beyond.

RP. Contract signed: Three-year, $36 million. . Washington Nationals. ZACH BRITTON

dark. Next. Mock Trade for Ian Happ from the Cubs

Keep an eye out on District on Deck as Blake Finney tries to craft his Washington Nationals roster in the fake GM Simulation along with the rest of the MLB FanSided sites.

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