The Nats Report Mailbag: Free Agent Targets and Minor Leaguers
In our first ever Washington Nationals mailbag, we talk about possible Major League Baseball targets and the current state of the Nationals' minor leagues.
What a season it has been. With the end of the season nearly upon, we figured we would answer some of your questions from Twitter to end the year. Let’s get into it.
Any thoughts on how Rizzo will approach free agency acquisitions? Along with weighing short/longer term FAs to younger players' development in minors? - @Mikeysurf
With the current state of the Nationals, that’s kind of a tough one to figure out. The top prospects are still a few seasons away. I do not foresee the Nationals’ front office following in the Texas Rangers' footsteps and signing premier free agents in the hopes of being ready to compete in 2024 or 2025. The pieces currently on the roster, at least in the position player core, will likely be run out again next year.
They may sign a veteran catcher like Curt Casali or Jason Castro to help Keibert Ruiz and share their knowledge. I could also see them bringing in a veteran bench piece. Buying in on some relievers in hopes of flipping them for assets at the next deadline like Craig Stammen or Jesse Chavez could be done. Bringing back Trea Turner would be amazing for the fans, but it does not make sense, especially with CJ Abrams looking as good as he has defensively of late.
What are the top 3 free agent pick-ups available to the Nats? -@NatsUnclePat
While I have provided all those names above, and they make sense, if I had to give three, I would say starting pitcher Mike Minor, relief pitcher Rafael Montero (on an above-market offer), and the return of Josh Harrison. It fills out depth, adds two potential trade candidates, and doesn’t hamstring the club long-term. Oh, and please just extend Joe Ross already.
Who on the farm right now is gonna be a big contributor next year? - @jeremy_lapidus
A big contributor? If we disqualify Cade Cavalli and MacKenzie Gore from this conversation, that is a tough question. We see top prospects Cole Henry and Robert Hassell III this season, but towards the end of the season, especially in Hassell’s case. Relievers Matt Cronin and Zack Brzykcy should both get at least cups of coffee this season.
I am going to go with infielder Jake Alu. He was one of the best hitters in Triple-A this year, and with how the Nationals have handled Kieboom, I think Alu may get a chance to snag the everyday third base spot.
Glad the guys have a strong finish to the season. The last three years have been tough for us Nats fans, BUT I always watch and root for my team - here is to 2023 - @ssocats
It has been a really hard year. While next year might not be much better, the future has never been quite this bright. There are a lot of really good players in the minors right now, and if the coaching staff can make them reach their ceilings, the Nationals will be in a better position than they have been in a while. Davey put it so well a few years ago that bumpy roads lead to beautiful places.