The Washington Nationals have been spending money by the tens of millions, and on Thursday the Nats hit the cash register again signing another big free agent with Brian Dozier. The Nationals actually spent over $10 million on Thursday by inking Dozier and Joe Ross to one-year deals. Ahead of the arbitration filing deadline, the Nationals are at $196 million based on the CBT calculation. The Nationals still need to come to terms with Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Michael Taylor, and Kyle Barraclough who are all arbitration eligible. With both Joe Ross and Sammy Solis already settling on their 2019 salararies, general manager Mike Rizzo needs to come in below $28 million combined on the remaining four players to have some room under the $206 million CBT cap. Remember, that $196 million figure does not include bonuses or incentives, and Rizzo gave out some big incentive-laden contracts to both Trevor Rosenthal and Anibal Sanchez.
Ahead of the Dozier signing becoming official, here is FanGraphs top team WAR projections for the 2019 season. The Nationals right now are tied with the Indians with the fifth highest WAR. After the Dozier signing, the Nats will move ahead of the Indians for sole possession of fifth, but look who is lurking below in ninth place. Yes, that is the Mets who will leapfrog to eighth place most likely when Jed Lowrie‘s signing becomes official.
Teams are making their moves and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still available. Maybe there will be some trades upcoming also. It will be interesting to see where these numbers finish after all the signings are completed. Are the Nationals done with sizable deals or does Mike Rizzo wait for team ownership to gift wrap one more player for him. The Nationals were reported in the Washington Post to be targeted at $185 million and that sent shivers through the D.C. area, but as we reported through a source that was not accurate rather the Nats only target was to build the best team they could and stay under the CBT cap. So far, this team has spent more than any other team and wrote by far the biggest deal of the off-season for Patrick Corbin in a $140 million package.