The faint chance of George Springer playing in a Nationals uniform has now dissolved.
Aside from the games actually taking place, the best part of baseball is the anticipation the offseason brings. Determining what direction a team will go, whether it’s to push all the chips in, or initiate the rebuild, potential player movement prior to the season is constantly under the microscope. And so that is how our offseason begin, with hopes of George Springer signing a contract to play for the Nationals.
Those dreams were shattered late in the night when Springer’s signing was announced. He’ll be suiting up for the Toronto Blue Jays for the next six years.
Yes, signing Springer was probably a long shot from the get-go. The power hitting outfielder was making his way to the open market for the first time in his career and was a Top-5 free agent, across the board.
His 39 home runs and 96 runs batted in from the leadoff position, in 2019, was a big reason why his Houston Astros ran through the regular season and made it to their second World Series in three years.
Nationals fans know first hand the postseason heroics Springer is capable of. In the 2019 Series, Springer had an OPS of 1.108, on the strength of six extra-base hits and seven walks. All told, Springer has 19 postseason home runs and was the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player.
From day one he was going to be a highly sought after commodity and if the Nationals were going to pursue him they would have to break the bank. Having several areas of need, the Nationals couldn’t afford to go-all-in, offering Springer the type of money the Blue Jays did. The Nats were best served spreading their money around, and addressing several areas.
As the images of Springer in a Nationals uniform hit Twitter, and DC Nats Shack changed his Twitter name to Springer Shack, we had fun looking at projections at how George could be signed, with others, and still stay under the luxury tax threshold.
From the debates of whether Nationals fans could look the other way on Springer’s cheating-scandal ways, to the arguments of if he would dethrone Trea Turner from the leadoff spot, our interest in George Springer was avid up until the point he signed on the dotted line with the Blue Jays.
We will turn our attention elsewhere, maybe stoking the fire on the Eugenio Suarez rumors or the jumping on the re-sign Sean Doolittle bandwagon will hold us over.