It's the New Year and the MLB offseason is in full swing. The Nationals have not yet made a "big" signing but have logged several transactions. A few players have been signed, and a few have been designated for assignment. The time is ticking for Nats' GM Mike Rizzo to convince free agents why Washington is the destination for them. Washington, a rebuilding franchise with many young players, could be enticing for an impactful veteran player. This is your Washington Nationals offseason check-in.
SS Nasim Nuñez, Rule 5 Draft Selection
Selected in the Major League round of the Rule 5 Draft, Nasim Nuñez could have an instant impact in Washington next season. Known for his speed and defensive prowess, the 5 foot 9, 168 pound Nuñez packs a punch. According to Baseball America, Nuñez was the Miami Marlins' best defensive infield glove and arm in their entire minor league system.
Nasim wasn't drafted to replace CJ Abrams at shortstop but to provide a defensive presence on the bench. Nuñez could also compete for the starting second base position at Spring Training, as coach Davey Martinez did not guarantee the spot to Luis Garcia. Nuñez is a career .233 hitter at the AA level, so his bat skills must improve to survive at the Major League level.
OF/3B Nick Senzel, 1 year/ $2 Million
Senzel, a five-year MLB veteran, spent the entirety of his early career with the Cincinnati Reds. A former top prospect in the Reds organization, Senzel has not had the career he had once hoped. Senzel had a solid debut season in 2019, hitting 12 home runs in 104 games, but has yet to replicate such success. Senzel can play multiple positions, raising the Nationals' interest level in him.
The 28-year-old is expected to be the Nationals' everyday third baseman, per Jessica Camerato. Senzel is also close friends with Washington OF Lane Thomas. The two played travel baseball together in their younger days. Has the vacancy at third base following the Jeimer Candelario trade finally been filled?
RP Dylan Floro, 1 year/ $2.25 Million
Floro, a 32-year-old veteran, could be a sneaky signing of the offseason for Mike Rizzo. The journeyman is now on his seventh MLB team and has a strong track record to show for it. Floro has a career 3.42 ERA and 124 ERA+, according to baseball-reference.com. The right-hander has experience in 14 playoff games that could provide a veteran presence for the Nats' young relievers. In 2022, Floro posted a 3.02 ERA, ten saves, and a 94 ERA+.
Floro can fit multiple roles in the bullpen for Washington, who struggled with depth in last year's 'pen. Not many pitchers were consistent besides Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey. Mike Rizzo is hoping Dylan Floro can provide stability to the 2024 bullpen.