The Nationals have several spots to fill, a solid chunk of money to possibly do it with and lots of quality options to choose from.
The free-agent list this year is not about superstar names. Rather, it’s about depth and quality. Even the second tier of free agents holds value, especially if their contracts are brief and costs suppressed by a mediocre market.
All week, we’re going to take a look at individuals who could fit in different places for the Nationals. Here’s a look at former Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gausman.
What he does well: Throws fastballs. Gausman has a heavy fastball which averaged 95.1 mph last season when he struck out 79 batters in just 59 ⅔ innings. While the 2020 season often caused players to backtrack, Gausman took a large step forward and looked like the first-round pick (fourth overall) he was in 2012.
Where he fits with the Nationals: The Nationals are in search of a fourth starter, though Gausman’s 2020 rebound may position him as more than that in the market. San Francisco, the team he did his improved work for, certainly thinks highly of him. It gave him the $18.9 million qualifying offer and The Athletic reports the Giants would be interested in giving Gausman a 3- or 4-year deal if he declines it. At that length and cost, he could well be out of the Nationals’ price range. Remember, they declined the $12.5 million option for Aníbal Sánchez. That’s the price point they would like to stay near and probably not for more than two years, or two plus a team option.
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