Washington Nationals: Looking ahead to the team’s 2019/20 free agents

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals celebrates his first-inning, three-run home run against the New York Mets with teammates in the dugout at Citi Field on April 18, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals celebrates his first-inning, three-run home run against the New York Mets with teammates in the dugout at Citi Field on April 18, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals Sean Doolittle
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Sean Doolittle – Club Option

Even though the Washington Nationals had high expectations for Sean Doolittle when they acquired him from the Oakland Athletics, he’s somehow exceeded them. Some may question whether the trade was worth it, but his team-friendly contract may swing the vote.

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Not long after the 2018 season had concluded, the Nationals triggered the first of Doolittle’s team options for $6 million, with another option for $6.5 million that can be triggered for 2020. When you look around the rest of the league this offseason, that turns out to be incredible value for someone that was one of the best closers in the game when healthy last year.

For example, Zach Britton‘s new deal has an annual average of $13 million with the New York Yankees, double what Doolittle could make in 2020. Another left-hander in Andrew Miller is also set to earn $12.5 million over the next two seasons, which just goes to emphasize how good a deal the Nats have.

The only concern, and it’s a minor one at that, is the injury Doolittle suffered last season. Assuming that he’s fully over the injury, which all signs seem to indicate he is, then this is probably the easiest decision this entire article.

$6.5 million for one of the best closers in the NL is an absolute steal and will likely be activated as soon as humanly possible. On a related note, it will be interesting to see if the Nats and Doolittle can work out a way to keep him in D.C. even longer next offseason.

Prediction: The Nationals activate Sean Doolittle’s club option

Next. Four Nats who could rebound in 2019. dark

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