Early Returns on Nationals Free Agent Signings

The Nationals did not have the busiest of winters, making smaller, and cheaper, signings to round out their roster. Without the big splashy offseason, how is the team doing and how are the returns on those low level investments?
Houston Astros v Washington Nationals
Houston Astros v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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GM Mike Rizzo didn't make a "splash" in the free agent market this past offseason, but he did sign four everyday players, and one bullpen arm, for the Nationals. Joey Gallo, Dylan Floro, Eddie Rosario, Jesse Winker, and Nick Senzel received one-year deals to join the Nats. Just over 20 games through the season, it is time for a check-in on the return Rizzo is getting from his signings.


Joey Gallo

Joey Gallo
Washington Nationals v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

*2024 statistics: 63 at-bats, .143 average, .691 OPS, three home runs, five RBI

Gallo hasn't gotten off to the best start to the 2024 season. He's stuck out in 34 of his 63 at-bats. Eight of his nine hits are extra-base hits, he's the definition of an all-or-nothing hitter. While his performance has been bad, it's normal for Gallo. He's hit under .200 each of the past five seasons. The occasional home run or double is great, but the downside of having Gallo in the lineup is a bit dramatic due to his strikeout percentage. Not to say Gallo can't get it turned around at the plate but do not expect much, Nats fans.

Signing Grade: C-


Eddie Rosario

Eddie Rosario
Houston Astros v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

*2024 statistics: 50 at-bats, .120 average, .387 OPS, one home run, three RBI

Besides an Opening Day homer, Eddie Rosario has offered next to nothing for coach Davey Martinez and the Nats. He's yet to have a multi-hit game this season. Eddie has struck out nine times and walked just twice. Rosario is on track to former Nat César Hernàndez territory, not a great place to be. Mike Rizzo has made a few key free-agent signings in his tenure, but Joey Gallo and Eddie Rosario are not among them.

Signing Grade: D


Jesse Winker

Jesse Winker
Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

*2024 statistics: 71 at-bats, .310 average, .904 OPS, two home runs, nine RBI

How about something positive? Jesse Winker has been very productive this season, likely the second-best hitter behind CJ Abrams in the Nats lineup so far this season. Singed to just a minor league contract in the offseason with an invite to Spring Training, Winker has done the most with the opportunity given. Following a tough 2023 season, batting .199 with one home run and 13 RBI, Jesse has found success in his age 30 season. His OPS of .946 ranks eighth in the National League among qualified hitters, according to mlb.com. We've just passed 20 games played this season, but if Winker keeps his production up, he will have trade value. Teams in contention are always in the market for an extra outfielder who can hit.

Signing Grade: A


Dylan Floro

Dylan Floro
Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

*2024 statistics: 10 games, 0.90 ERA, 10 innings pitched, 1.30 WHIP, 9 SO, 6 BB

Dylan Floro is an experienced reliever who has provided exactly what Mike Rizzo envisioned for the 33-year-old right-hander. Floro and fellow Nats reliever Hunter Harvey have been the best two arms in the bullpen this season. Dylan has filled in multiple roles for Coach Martinez and excelled in each. Besides Floro, Harvey, and sometimes Kyle Finnegan, the bullpen has not been efficient. So far, Floro has found a comfortable place to pitch in Washington, D.C.

Signing Grade: B+


Nick Senzel

Nick Senzel
Houston Astros v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

*2024 statistics: 22 at-bats, .182 average, .568 OPS, one home run, one RBI

Nick Senzel was placed on the 10-day Injured List due to a freak accident while warming up for Opening Day. The 28-year-old third baseman has played seven games since returning from injury and is yet to find his stride. His lone home run came against a right-handed pitcher, the opposite of what Senzel's scouting report reads, a left-handed specialist. It's hard to grade the signing of Senzel due to his lack of games played. Just 22 at-bats into his season, Senzel can boost his statistics with a multiple-hit game. The third baseman must get the ball rolling, as he's still under the .200 batting average mark.

Signing Grade: Incomplete


* All player statistics up to date as of April 23, 2024 and gathered from baseballreference.com