Washington Nationals 2023 offseason outlook: the DH
The Nationals will have an opportunity to look for a veteran presence at the DH position and hopefully fill a hole in either the outfield or at first base.
The Nationals will have an opportunity to look for a veteran presence at the DH position and hopefully fill a hole in either the outfield or at first base. There are some interesting players who are available in this year's free-agent class.
Andrew McCutchen (Age: 36)
At age 36 and coming off an $8.5MM contract with the Brewers, Andrew McCutchen is an interesting choice who can split his time between DH and the corner outfield (a position that the Nationals need to fill). During his time with the Brewers last year, he spent most of the time just as the DH, he did however appear in the outfield during 53 games. During the year, McCutchen had 580 plate appearances however, his production did in fact lack. He hit 237/.316/.384, roughly league-average offense. He was fine but unexceptional against left and right-handed pitchers alike, a somewhat disappointing turn after he’d basically owned southpaws over a three-year stint with the Phillies.
McCutchen will be looking at a lower salary which would even make him a better fit for the Nationals, whose ownership is still in flux. Either way, McCutchen has a strong veteran presence who works plenty of walks and has decent power. If the Nationals do go after him in during the offseason, he could be a great candidate for a veteran one-year contract if the Nationals become sellers again at next year's trade deadline, he could be on the move in exchange for a lower-level prospect.
Alex Dickerson (32)
Alex Dickerson is a younger McCutchen if the Nationals want someone a bit younger to split his time between DH and the corner outfield. During this year's Spring Training, Dickerson received a big league deal of $1MM from the Atlanta Braves, however, he didn't last to long in the majors as he posted a .121/.194/.212 line in 13 April games before being designated for assignment and going unclaimed on waivers. Dickerson ended up spending the rest of the year in Triple-A, putting up a slightly below-average .239/.305/.425 mark across 357 plate appearances.
Trey Mancini (31)
Trey Mancini is a very interesting choice and a player who could fit really well with the Nationals. During this past year, he split his time evenly between DH and the field, although he bounced between first base and both corner outfield positions. He’s not a great fit in the outfield but plays a solid first base. (The Nationals are also in the market for a first baseman). Mancini brings a lot to the table for the Nationals and he makes a fair amount of contact, draws walks, and has decent power.
For the past two seasons, Mancini has hit been a slightly above-average hitter. Since the start of the 2021 season, he is hitting 247/.323/.412 line in a bit more than 1200 plate appearances. Pair this with having a strong clubhouse reputation, which is perfect for a team that has a lot of young players.
Michael Brantley (36)
The 36-year-old is coming off a right shoulder season-ending injury. Michael Brantley landed on the injured list in late June, and after six weeks of rehab, he underwent season-ending surgery. Before his season-ending surgery, Brantley was off to an excellent start by going 288/.370/.416 across 277 plate appearances. Brantley only managed five home runs, but he picked up 14 doubles and walked more often than he struck out.