“Many times, teams set the framework for a deal at the Winter Meetings, and will wrap deals up shortly” afterwards which is what we wrote during the Winter Meetings. It looks like general manager Mike Rizzo got a pitcher to take the Washington Nationals’ money. That acquisition is Trevor Williams who has been a starter as well as a bullpen arm. The interesting part was that there were whispers we got that Williams was talking with Rizzo. So we got a quote two days ago that seemed timely, but as he said, he wouldn’t kiss and tell (wink, wink).
Free agent pitcher Trevor Williams says he “won’t kiss and tell but he is flirting with a few teams.”
— Talk Nats (@TalkNats) December 7, 2022
Source tells us that Williams would like to start and that was part of the deal to get him to sign. It is looking like it could be a two-year deal according to multiple reports and on The Athletic where Stephen Nesbitt reports the deal is worth $6.5 million per year.
A source told us that Rizzo’s goal was that he wanted to sign a starting pitcher before he left San Diego, and had reached out to five or six agents. While that does not seem like a lot of “reaching out”, you must remember that some agents represent more than one player that Rizzo could want.
The issue is that there is immense competition from the other 29 teams, and the Nats are going to have to sell players on coming to the Washington Nationals in terms of money and/or opportunity. The Nats had been linked to Jose Quintana as well as Seth Lugo. Also consider, that Rizzo is most likely trying for other players.
Here’s a video of Rizzo speaking to just what we sourced previously:
Many will remember Williams’ spot start to end his season with the Mets against the Nationals in which he went 6.0 innings of 2-run baseball to earn the win. He turns 31 in April and grew up in San Diego just like Stephen Strasburg. In his nine starts in 2022, he had a 4.19 ERA, and 2.47 as a reliever. Today, his ERA would rank the best of any of the Nats projected starters on a staff that averaged 5.97 in 2022 for last in MLB.
One important note is that Williams throws a starter’s repertoire of five pitches. His main pitch is the 4-seam fastball that he throws 52 percent of the time. His remaining four pitches he throws almost equally at 12 percent each with his slider as his main swing & miss pitch, and his sinker as his best putaway pitch. He has the batter thinking 4-seamer and induces groundball outs with the sinker. Nothing overpowering as his fastball hovers around 90 mph. He throws a changeup and curveball also just to keep the batters off-balance. This year Williams got his BB/9 to the lowest of his career that helped contribute to a 1.227 WHIP and believe or not his starter’s WHIP was actually better than his reliever’s WHIP.
Williams has 118 career starts and a career starter’s ERA of 4.33. Interestingly enough, Williams’ agent is John Boggs who grew up in the D.C. area and graduated from American University. He has represented several All-Stars including Cole Hamels who Boggs was talking to Rizzo about per a source. It has been rumored that Hamels might want to pitch again. Why not, Hamels will be just 39 later this month and younger than Justin Verlander! We will see if that goes anywhere.
One of the key ties to Williams is Dave Jauss, a Nats’ Senior Advisor (Player Development) who worked with Williams when he was with the Pirates. On one Pirates trip to DC, Jauss and Williams went to Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland and that is in line with one of the Williams family’s charitable endeavors in which they would take wounded soldiers to Spring Training that is coordinated through Williams’ father, Richard.
“I have no idea what the emotional toll like that is like. I have no idea, and I’ll never have an idea,” Williams said to MLB.com on his trip to Walter Reed Hospital in 2017. “It’s always good going and putting things in perspective. Maybe I [had a bad outing], but at least I didn’t run away from bullets today, or at least I didn’t see all they’ve seen. It was good perspective.”
Williams also said he really likes the museums in Washington, D.C. and the way the Nationals honor the military. Williams has spent time at the Smithsonian and was an American history major at Arizona State University before being drafted in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Marlins. Williams was subsequently traded to the Pirates where he spent most of his career. He should be a good fit for this Nats’ team and active in the community.