Ex-Astros reliever Will Harris is off the free agent market. When we last saw him, he was giving up a go-ahead home run to Howie Kendrick and the Nationals in game 7 of the World Series. That won’t happen to him again, seeing as he has signed a three year, $24M, deal with those same Nationals. He probably slots in as their 8th inning/setup guy.
5 thoughts on “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…”
If the Nats don’t find a viable replacement for Anthony Rendon, it may not much matter who pitches the 8th or 9th here this year.
One would hope that’s not what they had in mind with the Starlin Castro signing today.
The Castro signing was brilliant. Now they don’t need Donaldson and will be happy to see him leave the NL!
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They brought back Asdrubal Cabrera over the weekend, too, leaving them with lots of guys (Castro, Cabrera, Kendrick) that can be put in the lineup at multiple infield positions; as someone elsewhere suggested, it’s almost like the Nats are trying the Dodgers’ strategy of having lots of fungible guys, except with less talent.
If the Nats don’t want to go over the Competitive Balance Tax threshold (and they stayed under it last year, so penalties would be minimal) then I don’t see how they sign Donaldson, especially now that word is he wants $110 million over four years. There are some in the local media putting forth ideas like “really shore up the bullpen by re-signing Daniel Hudson, spend some money on first base, and take your chances”, which has some merit from a pure WAR perspective, as making one of history’s worst bullpens into one that’s at least competent represents a gain in WAR that more than offsets the loss of Rendon’s production. However, that won’t matter if Juan Soto is drawing 300 intentional walks and never gets beyond first base after any of them.
Cabrera, Castro, Kendrick, and whoever they sign to play first base, which better include a lefty with some thump, were all reasonably productive hitters last year, so maybe a quantity over quality approach will yield enough positive results to keep the pitching staff from rioting. Alternatively, maybe the Nats will still spend to get Donaldson, or maybe Rizzo will pull off a trade for a third baseman, or maybe we’ll just tide ourselves over with the good feelings from last year and not fret too much about not being able to contend again this year.
And just hours after I type the above comes word that the Nats have re-signed Daniel Hudson for two years, $11 million total.
Boswell out here wishcasting: