Who Should be the Nationals "Jayson Werth" Signing this Offseason?

In honor of the legendary J-Dub in the MASN booth on Saturday vs the Rays, it got me thinking. With the Nats looking to contend next year, who is our Jayson Werth-type signing?
Divisional Round - Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals - Game Five
Divisional Round - Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals - Game Five / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

2011. In our 7th year as a franchise, the Nationals failed to contend again, with another season as a bottom dweller. Since coming to DC in 2005, the Nationals had finished 5th in the NL East in 5 out of 7 seasons, with their best finish being in 3rd place in 2011 after completing the season 80-81. In total, the Nationals were 492-640 from 2005-2011. Things were looking up in Washington after the 2011 season, with a record near .500 and the best farm system in baseball. Stephen Strasburg was here, Bryce Harper was coming, and with the addition of Gio Gonzalez and other glue guys like Adam LaRoche and Mike Morse, the Nationals were looking to contend.

Not only was the output on the field much better, but a lot of this had to do with the culture. After back-to-back 100+ loss seasons in 2008 and 2009 and 93 losses in 2010, we were in desperate need of a veteran. In came World Series Champion Jayson Werth.

The former All-Star was coming off a great season in 2010 with the Phillies, slashing .296/.388/.532 for a 144 OPS+, 27 home runs, and a league-leading 46 doubles. Werth shocked the baseball world by signing a 7-year 126 million dollar contract, with analysts being critical of Werth, and Washington, for the deal. It turned out to be one of the best signings in Nationals history. Not only did Jayson produce well on the field, he became an instant leader in the Nationals clubhouse, leveraging his previous success and a calming presence with a burning desire to play hard and win. He became a fan favorite, and will always have his story in Nationals history.

As we sit here today in 2024, the Nationals are probably not making the playoffs, extending the drought since the 2019 World Series. With franchise cornerstones like CJ Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, and Jake Irvin, and with James Wood and Dylan Crews on the way, it is time for the Nationals to make another Jayson Werth-type signing, and I found the perfect guy to do it: Teoscar Hernandez.

Listen I'm not going to tell you this is the sexiest signing in the world, but it's a necessary one. The outfield is set: James Wood, Dylan Crews, and a mix of Jacob Young, Lane Thomas, and potentially Robert Hassell III or others, but the Nationals need a bopper, and Teoscar fills that void.

One of the most underrated hitters in baseball since the 2020 season, Teoscar was an All-Star in 2021 with Toronto, before being traded to the Mariners and is now in a 1-year deal with the Dodgers. In 565 games since 2020, Tesoscar has 117 home runs, with a slash line of .271/.323/.490 good for a 124 OPS+. Tesoscar is limited defensively but has consistently crushed baseballs. He is known for striking out at an above-average clip, but when he's hot he is one of the most dangerous players in baseball. Similar to Jayson, Teoscar is 31 years old heading into free agency currently having a great year, and looking to score a long-term contract. The Nationals could provide him with that.

The Nationals need power. The Nationals need a bat. The Nationals need someone who has proved themself. Hernandez is able to fill all of those voids. Although Hernandez may not be the perfect fit, he could be a culture-changing signing. Give me Teoscar Hernandez on a multi-year deal heading into the 2025 season, and let's win.