Not Rewarded: Will Harris
There are plenty of candidates that could take this spot. Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell were brought in for their pop and have combined for 0.6 WAR, 17 homers, and 111 strikeouts. Neither are hitting above .220, but receive the benefit of the doubt because they have recently started to heat up, specifically Bell.
Patrick Corbin, who signed a six-year deal with the Nats in 2019, has been dreadful over the last year and a half. In 12 starts this season, he is 3-5, with a 6.21 ERA, and 48 strikeouts, while posting a -0.9 WAR. However, his masterful 2019 season and World Series run will always be engrained in Nationals fan’s memories.
Starlin Castro, Alex Avila, and Jon Lester could all fit this slot, but it’s Will Harris who gets the nod. At the time of the signing in 2020, Harris was at the top of his game. During his five years in Houston, he had only posted an ERA over 3.50 once and finished with an ERA under 2.00 twice.
The veteran signed a three-year deal with Washington worth $24 million. During his first year with the Nats, Harris suffered a groin injury and only made 20 appearances. At first glance, his 3.06 ERA in 17.2 innings is solid. However, he finished with a 4.55 FIP, proving he was lucky at times. With Hudson taking a major step back, Harris was plugged in as the teams closer and struggled out of the gate, going 1-4 in save opportunities.
Similar to Hudson, an extended off-season and full Spring Training was expected to allow the righty to return to his elite form. Instead, he suffered a blood clot during Spring Training. Since returning, he continued to struggle, only making eight appearances before his season was cut short due to undergoing surgery for Thoracic outlet syndrome.
During his two years with the Nats, Harris has only made 28 appearances, going 0-2, with a 4.56 ERA, and a 4.36 FIP. Injuries have derailed what could have been a successful partnership.