After 99 days, the lockout is finally over with Washington Nationals Opening Day set for April 7. MLB free agency has resumed with players and teams in a hurry to get deals done. There are plenty of big names left on the market including Carlos Correa, Nick Castellanos, and Trevor Story.
Before the lockout began, Washington decided to hold off on splurging and took a patient approach to free agency. They brought back Alcides Escobar and signed César Hernández to respective one-year deals.
Since the lockout ended, they’ve changed course and have become one of the busier teams, signing Sean Doolittle, Steve Cishek, Nelson Cruz, and Ehire Adrianza They also signed Anibal Sanchez and Aaron Sanchez to minor league deals.
Washington still has question marks at third and left and needs more help in the bullpen and back of the rotation.
With the market heating up, Washington needs to act fast in order to complete its roster and they should start by signing these three players.
Year after year, the Washington Nationals have always found themselves undone by their bullpen. Last year was no different, with the Nationals bullpen finishing 22nd in saves (36), 28th in left on-base percentage (67.7%), 29th in ERA (5.08), FIP (4.86), and fWAR (-0.2), and tied for last in blown saves (34).
Since the lockout ended, the Nationals have added Steve Cishek and Sean Doolittle to bolster their relief core, but they still need reinforcements. Enter Tony Watson.
The veteran reliever spent last season with the Angels and Giants, going 7-4, with a 3.92 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and a 3.48 FIP. He struggled to start the season with the Angels, posting a 4.64 ERA in 33 innings, but benefited from a change of scenery. Traded to the Giants at the deadline, he posted a 2.96 ERA, with a 2.64 FIP in 24 1/3 innings.
The 36-year-old veteran is used to pitching in high leverage situations and would provide stability to the backend of the Nats bullpen.