Nationals hopes of signing reputable infielder, slimming by the day
If the Nationals were hoping to sign an infielder, they have a lot less options after the signing frenzy.
Having signed a couple semi-high profile free agents and one former pitching great, while acquiring a slugging first baseman, the Nationals have put themselves in decent position to contend for a playoff spot this season. With three weeks remaining before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Nats would like to add a couple more pieces, including a utility infielder.
There were plenty of options on the board twenty-four hours ago, albeit some which were far-fetched dreams at best, though now the options remaining are sparse.
In a flurry of moves, Cesar Hernandez re-signed with the Cleveland Indians. Marcus Semien signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. Freddy Galvis signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Tommy La Stella is nearing a deal with the San Francisco Giants and Andrelton Simmons signed on with the Minnesota Twins.
With three of these players seeing the majority of time at shortstop, the Nationals reaching an agreement with them was a long shot, given Trea Turner is entrenched at the position for at least the next two years. While Semien has played third base before and could have been a fit, he signed for more money than the Nats would have invested at the position ($18M). Simmons ($10.5M) was also highly sought after and not destined for DC.
La Stella and Hernandez are light hitting options who can play multiple positions, something manager Davey Martinez likes in his infielders. Hernandez will earn $5M for returning to the Indians, surely the best offer he was able to get. Galvis signed cheap and although he would have added a veteran presence to the Nationals, hasn’t hit well in recent years.
Among those still on the market, Justin Turner and Jonathan Schoop remain intriguing options. Turner seems to be headed back to the Los Angeles Dodgers, however.
Players who have held this job in the past for the Nationals, like Asdrubal Cabrera and Brock Holt, are still available. However, a reunion with either of them seems unlikely.
At this point the Nationals may be content letting Josh Harrison work his way around the diamond giving breaks to the regulars, while they save their money for an in-season upgrade.