A fifth starter. Bullpen depth. Washington has a busy off-season ahead of them and only a projected $47 million to work with.
Earlier in the week I detailed my free agency plan for the Nationals and started with position players. This time around, I will be going over the starting rotation and bullpen.
The starting rotation will still be lead by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin, but will need reinforcements. Scherzer and Corbin had down years in 2020, while Strasburg underwent season-ending surgery. All three will be back for the start of 2021 and will be the engine that drives the Nats. Joe Ross will return, leaving one spot left in the rotation. Outside of Trevor Bauer, the starting pitching market is thin. Interestingly enough, multiple former All-Stars looking for one last hurrah litter the market.
In the bullpen, Tanner Rainey, Daniel Hudson, Will Harris, Kyle Finnegan, and Wander Suero will all be returning. Sean Doolittle is a free agent and if the team decides against bringing him back, they will need a new go-to lefty reliever. In a reliever meta that is leading towards team’s having multiple closers, Washington will also need to add another late-inning option. Without further ado, part two of my perfect plan.