Washington Nationals: Davey Martinez’s favorite player non-tendered
Remember when Juan Soto showed up to the Dodgers playoff game wearing Trea Turner’s jersey? Well, that’s how I envision Washington Nationals manager Davey Martinez. Walking around his house in a Wander Suero jersey. Going to the store, in a Suero jersey. Going into the office, in a Suero jersey. Since Suero broke onto the scene 2018, he’s been the apple of Martinez’s eye. Now, his tenure with the organization may be over.
With a lockout looming, and a non-tender deadline quickly approaching, the Nationals decided not to offer a contract to three players, with pitcher Wander Suero being one of them. These players are now free to sign with anyone (they will once this lockout issue is resolved), essentially ending the relationship between Suero and the Nats.
After appearing in 78 regular season games in 2019 and three World Series games, the most recognizable face in the Nationals bullpen is no more.
The Nationals chose to non-tender pitcher Wander Suero, moving on from their most seasoned reliever.
During the run to the World Series in 2019, when the bullpen went through multiple makeovers, there seemed to be one constant. Suero. There was one reliever in the pen, Martinez trusted and did not hesitate to call upon on a nightly basis. Suero. With more strikeouts than innings pitched and a FIP slightly above 3.00, Suero rewarded Martinez for his unabated trust.
In 2020, Suero was more erratic and in 2021 he gave up too many long balls. All the while, Martinez stayed with Wander way too long. In what started out as high leverage situations soon turned to being the first one out of the bullpen. Suero struggled in both roles.
Late in the season, after giving up at least two eared runs in three straight starts, much to Martinez’s dismay, Suero was jettisoned to Triple-A. In twelve innings he surrendered nine earned runs and made his way back to the bigs. In his first two innings after being recalled, he gave up at least two earned runs in both starts.
From Mr. Dependable to Mr. Unreliable. Through it all he remained one of the must trusted guys in the pen, even when the numbers didn’t justify it.
In the end, he’s just another name on the transaction log. While this decision came from above, manager Davey Martinez surely hung his head when told the news. The Wander Suero tenure with the Nationals has most likely come to a close.