It has been just over two weeks since Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo inked Anibal Sanchez to a deal and that might seem like months to some given the deal a week pace Rizzo and staff were on while acquiring a total of 8-players by the time free agency started on November 3rd. Was that five players in 47 days or eight players in 47 days since Kyle Barraclough and Trevor Rosenthal were actually acquired prior to the official start to free agency. Besides those two relievers, Rizzo also snagged Tanner Rainey for bullpen depth, and Sanchez and the biggest pitching prize, Patrick Corbin, along with Matt Adams as the big lefty bat plus two catchers in Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki.
In addition, you can expect that the Nats have inked many veteran players to minor league deals as non-roster invites to Spring Training who they have not disclosed like Henderson Alvarez. With Spring Training camp opening in less than 6-weeks at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the Nats are further along than any other team in league. With well over 150 free agents unsigned, there are an average of 5 players per team to go ’round. The Nats are filled up on their 40-man roster and with any additional acquisitions to the active roster, the team will need to free up spots. While rumors on acquiring a 5th starter has gone quiet, the most persistent rumor is tying the Nats to second basemen. The list is long with Brian Dozier, D.J. LeMahieu, Josh Harrison, and Jed Lowrie. The Nats have also been mentioned with Marwin Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki got signed by the Yankees and it looks like he will play shortstop.
With so little cash-to-spend under the CBT cap, the Nationals could try to find a second baseman in the range they reportedly offered Ian Kinsler at $5 million on a one-year deal. The $30 million question though is the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room as Bryce Harper rumors with the Nationals are once again firmly tied together. As we have found with the Nationals, expect the unexpected in the off-season.