Three Players Who Were Almost Nationals
Sammy Sosa did not play in the majors in 2006 but he was offered two minor league contracts by the Nationals. Sosa did not accept because he and his agent wanted a major league deal. He went on to play one more year for the Rangers in 2007. One can only imagine how cool it would have been to have Sosa in the nation’s capital and playing alongside Alfonso Soriano. Sosa certainly would have drawn fans to the ballpark. It's interesting how in the 90s and early 2000s how aging veterans like Wade Boggs, Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Julio Franco, Jamie Moyer, and others would simply not stop playing into their 40s. Moyer and Franco played well into their late 40s which is pretty fun for the fanbases of the teams that they ended up on. You get to see someone who once was a phenomenal player and someone who your dad probably saw play growing up. Players don't play that long anymore. It seems that even if you have a decent year, once you hit your late 30s, teams aren't as willing to take a flyer on an average veteran. The closest thing Nats fans have witnessed a scenario like this is probably someone like Brian Dozier or Livan Hernandez. The Nats really haven't had a really old player outside of Nelson Cruz or Matt Stairs.
Andrew McCutchen was almost a National in 2017. McCutchen’s name was brought up frequently in rumors but it would have been likely that the Nationals would have had to give up quite a bit in order to acquire him. As a big fan of McCutchen, I was quite hopeful that he would become a Nat. It seems as though the Pirates wanted Robles. If I knew what I know now, I would have traded him in a heartbeat. However, he was decent during the World Series run so I'll give him that.
Trey Mancini was in talks with the Nationals just a short time ago before spring training. No reason was given as to why he didn’t sign (it could've been a false report) but my guess would be that the Nats didn’t want to pay him reasonable money, judging by the low budget offseason that they just had. Mancini was an Orioles fan favorite and having him back in the DMV area would have been pretty sweet. I always think it's cool when players play for both the Nats and the O's during their career. Some players who have done this are Steven Lombardozzi, Austin Voth, Edwin Jackson, and Pedro Severino to name a few.
It’s fun to think about the what-ifs and who might have ended up in a National’s jersey at some point in their career.