Washington Nationals: Three Players The Nats Need To Sign

DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 24: Tony Watson #56 of the San Francisco Giants throws against of the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning at Coors Field on September 24, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 24: Tony Watson #56 of the San Francisco Giants throws against of the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning at Coors Field on September 24, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Chris Archer
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – AUGUST 29: Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 29, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Chris Archer

The backbone of the Washington Nationals for the previous decade, their starting rotation is a shell of its former self. Patrick Corbin is coming off of the worst season of his career. Stephen Strasburg has thrown 26 2/3 innings over the past two seasons and is still working himself back into shape. Joe Ross is nowhere near returning from his own injury.

With the rotation in shambles and in need of depth, they have the opportunity to take a flier on bounce-back candidates. One pitcher in particular they should sign to a one-year prove-it deal is veteran Chris Archer.

In his nine-year career with the Rays, and Pirates, Archer is 61-81, with a 3.87 ERA, 1,370 strikeouts, and a 3.66 FIP. Once seen as the future of the Rays rotation, Chris Archer has struggled over the last few seasons. Last year he re-signed with the Rays, but only threw 19 1/3 innings due to injuries. He went 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA, 21 strikeouts, and a 4.26 FIP.

In the middle of a rebuild, Washington can afford to take a risk on Archer to see if he has anything left in the tank and if he does, they can flip him for prospects at the deadline.

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