Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed rumors that have been surfacing for weeks surrounding the organization: Washington has interest in signing free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Rizzo spoke with reporters on Tuesday following Stephen Strasburg's press conference, which announced the ace's seven-year, $245 million contract that he signed last week. That's when Rizzo was asked about the team's potential plan at third base, where they have a massive hole to fill following Anthony Rendon's departure to Los Angeles.
"Yeah, I think we have an interest in Josh Donaldson," Rizzo said. "We've had conversations with a lot of different people and a lot of moving parts. He's one of them."
With Rendon gone, Donaldson is by far the best remaining third baseman available. The 34-year-old is coming off a rebound season with the Atlanta Braves, where he hit 37 home runs and 94 RBIs on a .259/.379/.521 slash.
Should Washington be unable to land Donaldson, they could also explore the trade market. The Cubs are reportedly considering trading third baseman Kris Bryant, someone the Nationals could potentially get creative to work out a deal with.
Colorado's Nolan Arenado has reportedly been made available, but the Nationals won't trade for a contract they were unwilling to give to Rendon in the first place.
"Yeah, there's a bunch of different ways to construct a roster," Rizzo said. "We feel that we have great options both internally and in the free-agent market and in the trade market. So we will explore those like we do every year and try to construct a team that Washington can be proud of and gives us a chance to win another World Series."
Rizzo was complimentary of the Nationals' ownership group, the Lerner family, and how they've been financially fair with Rizzo in terms of constructing a championship-caliber roster.
"The ownership has been more than fair with the way we've allocated funds with this team," Rizzo said. "I think that will continue to be so. You have to be creative and smart with how you spend your money, and I think we've been that."
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