Is now the time for Washington to splurge?
Max Rayman: Sadly, no. Washington has holes at left, third, short, in the bullpen, and the rotation. Not to mention, they need to add a few bench bats. The farm system has some promising arms, but the majority of them are seen as two-three years away. While this is the most stacked free-agent class in recent memory, unfortunately, the timing doesn’t match up with Washington’s rebuild. Keep in mind, Mike Rizzo will not target anyone who will be offered a qualifying offer.
James Simmons: Yes, if that splurge is on Juan Soto. When it comes to free agents. No, not the time. I do not think this will be a long rebuild, though we still are in the early stages. Continue to develop the youth and find some serviceable vets to fill out the lineup. The Nats have the fifth pick in the draft. They can have some tradable assets to get rid of at the deadline. They need to save their pennies for a future spending spree.
Nationals Source: No. Almost every splurge-type player will be attached to a qualifying offer. A team in the Nationals position cannot sign someone with a QO because it would mean that they would lose a top 50 pick and international pool money. Not only is a top 50 pick valuable but for a team attempting to sign two top 10 international prospects in Cristian Vaquero and Anthony Gutierrez losing international money would all but put an end to at least one of those signings.
Joe Edelen: This offseason provides the perfect opportunity for the Nationals to splurge, and despite this past season’s fire sale, this offseason could provide a quick turnaround for 2022. When Mike Rizzo spoke to the media in early October, he stated that he wouldn’t put a timetable on the Nationals’ rebuild other than to say that they are looking forward to a championship-caliber season in 2022. After last season, that should have fans extremely hopeful for what the team does this offseason. When you look at the Nationals’ lineup as is, there are glaring holes, and though last season was good for development, particularly for their depth, it’s still a must to improve.
The Nats currently have their promising young infielders in Luis Garcia and Carter Kieboom, and though Garcia showed glimpses of what he could become, it seems as if Kieboom’s stock as a future starter may be at an all-time low. Alcides Escobar was also solid for the Nats, but the 34-year-old certainly isn’t the shortstop of the future. With holes in the infield, and seemingly two outfield spots up for grabs, Rizzo & Co. would be wise to restock on major league talent in what is a loaded free agency class.