The Victor Robles era is officially over

After once being one of the top prospects in all of baseball, the Nationals designated Victor Robles for assignment on Monday, spelling the end of his tenure in DC.
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The Nationals announced on Monday that they had reinstated Outfielder Lane Thomas, a move that Davey Martinez said was coming after yesterday's series finale against the Mariners. What we did not know was what the corresponding roster move would be.

The Nationals' roster has had its fair share of shuffling throughout the first two months of the season, particularly in the lineup. Lane Thomas, Nick Senzel, Joey Gallo, Keibert Ruiz and Victor Robles have all missed time due to injury or illness that landed them on the injured list. The latter four have since returned to the lineup in some capacity, leaving Thomas as the remaining piece to be reinstated.

As much as an outside source can know, we were all but certain Lane would reclaim his starting spot in Right Field upon his return. What we could only guess, however, is who would get the boot when that time came.

Jacob Young, the lone position player who was not a part of the Opening Day roster, has options still, but has excelled in his role and is currently third amongst Nationals position players in Wins Above Replacement. Demoting him would be an admission that the Nationals are not trying to put the best possible team out there.

On the flip side, there are members of the team that despite being on the Opening Day roster, should argubaly no longer take up a roster spot. Players like Joey Meneses, Joey Gallo and Eddie Rosario come to mind, but it was a more tenured National that saw his time come to an end.

The Nationals have DFA'd Victor Robles

Victor Robles is a polarizing figure. Either you remember and value Robles' 2019 season and his contributions to a World Series winning team, or you remember Robles' prospect profile and what could/should have been, whether it be via trade or his own development.

Robles was infamously not included in the Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox trade back in 2016. The Nationals ultimately pivoted to Adam Eaton in a deal that sent Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, among others, to the Southside.

It was hard to blame the Nationals, as Robles was as high as third overall in MLB Pipeline's prospect rankings. Robles was heralded as a legitimate five tool prospect with an incredibly high ceiling.

Ultimately, 2019 would be Robles' best season in DC. In the years to come, Robles would struggle mightily and be demoted to AAA, have countless baserunning blunders, lose his starting centerfield job a few times, often to players who should not have been playing centerfield, and deal with a ton of injuries.

You cannot say that the Nationals did not give Robles a plethora of opportunities either. Robles had over 1,000 plate appearances since 2020 and only hit .222 over that span. The power he was projected to have never came to fruition either, as Robles never hit more than six homeruns in a season outside of 2019.

Robles did appear to turn a corner over his 36 games last season as he was hitting .299, but a back injury ended his season early and he never re-discovered that form in his limited time this season.

The DFA of Robles does having meaning though; the Nationals are not afraid to make a move in order to improve their team, even if it is only slightly. Now if they would just call up James Wood, they would fully cement that sentiment.

But for the few Robles fans out there, that just leaves Patrick Corbin and Tanner Rainey as the remaining members of that 2019 team, both of which seem to also have their days limited in DC. It truly is a new era.