Nationals sign Brad Hand, keep him away from the Mets in process
Two birds with one stone. Brad Hand is a National and not a Met.
Yeah, we’ll give props to the New York Mets. They acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. They signed free agents James McCann and Trevor May as well, addressing two areas of need. All the while, the Nationals have matched them step by step. Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber to address the power hitting woes, and Jon Lester to stabilize the back end of the rotation. As both teams courted the same left handed reliever, only one team will be taking him to the dance.
With the announcement the Nationals have signed Brad Hand, not only are they getting the closer they so desired, they are keeping him away from a division foe as well.
After receiving an influx of disposable cash when Steven Cohen took over as majority owner, the Mets have been very active this offseason in remaking their team. Much like the Nationals of 2020, the Mets finished with a 26-34 record. Since then, they have made it public they would spend money on the best talent, to work their way back to the postseason for the first time since 2016 (where they lost the Wild Card game).
Bringing in McCann was noteworthy, as he was deemed the second best catcher on the market, and more friendly on the pocket book than J.T. Realmuto.
Winning the Lindor sweepstakes was huge as there were several teams vying for the infielder’s services. Adding Carrasco in the same deal was making the Mets look like stalwarts of the East again.
However, they have swung and missed twice now within a week. First, George Springer spurned the Mets advances and decided to take his talents north of the border. Now, Brad Hand turns his nose up at the Metropolitans
Making sure the Mets didn’t get their man is good. What’s even better? The Nationals have plenty of late inning options now. Hand will surely be the closer, though Daniel Hudson has closing experience and Tanner Rainey has a rocket for an arm. Although he had a down year last season, Will Harris is a former All-Star who saved 12 games in 2016 for the Houston Astros. Plenty or reliable relievers for late inning, high leverage situations.
With the Nationals featuring a Cy Young caliber rotation, the need for middle men out of the bullpen has been lessened. With the stable of arms being built, the Nationals have shortened the game. And by adding Hand, kept him away from the Mets as well.