Free Agent Hitters to for the Washington Nationals to Target

The Free Agent market has been slow moving to this point, which gives the Nationals all the more opportunity to swoop in and make a move to bolster their lineup.
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Washington Nationals are in the midst of a full-scale rebuild. The minor leagues have been re-tooled, but the Major League team requires reinforcements sooner than many of those prospects will be ready. The Nats lacked power in the lineup this past season, ranking 29th across the Majors in home runs. Let's look at the 2023 Free Agent Pool and find some fits for the rebuilding of the Washington Nationals.

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins
World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three / Al Bello/GettyImages

This is an obvious selection. The Nats need power from the first base position, and Rhys Hoskins brings the boom. Hoskins has a career slugging percentage of .492, which could help the Nationals lineup. Rhys missed the 2023 season due to a torn ACL in his left knee. Washington could get the slugger on a reduced deal as Hoskins will be looking to prove he is healthy as he positions himself for a long-term deal. The now 30-year-old has to prove he's capable of the same statistics post-injury.

Hoskins signed a one-year, $12 Million contract before the 2023 season and has gone through arbitration with the Phillies for three straight seasons. He's likely searching for a contract worth in the $15-$20 Million range for two or three years. The Nats need the power, but is GM Mike Rizzo willing to shovel out money this offseason? It's a question that only time can answer.

Harrison Bader

Harrison Bader
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages

While the grouping of Victor Robles (avoided arbitration), Jacob Young, and Lane Thomas sounds great defensively in Center Field, the Nats need to add another outfielder to the mix to hopefully provide more offensively. Harrison Bader could be a cheap option to give the outfield more speed and ability at the plate. Three seasons ago, Bader slugged 16 home runs in just 103 games for the St. Louis Cardinals.

While he's struggled to hit for power the last two seasons, his speed and defense are still well above average. He could be a wild card addition to the mix of Robles, Young, and Thomas. Bader would not be expensive due to his struggles over the past two years. Often, a change of scenery is needed for players to reclaim their past abilities. The Nationals are in dire need of a power source in their lineup, and Bader offers cheap upside.

Wil Myers

Wil Myers
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

A cheaper, more realistic option at first base could be Wil Myers. The 32-year-old first baseman struggled last season in Cincinnati across 37 games, hitting just .189. The 2013 Rookie of the Year and 2016 All-Star has a career slugging percentage of .437 and could provide a veteran presence for the Nationals' young stars. Washington could sign Myers to a cheaper deal than Rhys Hoskins, but would be much less of a sure thing than Hoskins seems to be.

Is Rizzo ready to spend money on a big-time free agent? Are the Lerner's in a position to spend money? It seems like Rizzo's strategy throughout free agency depends on the Lerner's willingness to spend their money, and they have been very frugal in recent years. Free agency is well underway as the news of Aaron Nola, Reynaldo Lopez, and Sonny Gray signing deals have been released. All Nationals fans are waiting for is Mike Rizzo to make a move.