The Washington Nationals had a lot of ambitions regarding the offseason and the free agents they were planning to land, but so far, it’s been one big bust after bust, missing out on Brandon Phillips, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Darren O’Day.
Phillips, still with the Cincinnati Reds, is simply too complicated of a deal to complete. The other three preferred playing elsewhere than in Washington, even if the Nationals were willing to offer more money than their opponent for the player, like in the case of Heyward, who shows how much players like what’s going on in Chicago, or simply really want to play for Maddon. The St. Louis Cardinals still feel insulted by him for saying they’re old and snubbing their big offer as well.
So what’s left for the Nationals? They’re still looking for a hitter who can make an impact, with Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets and Howie Kendrick, who played last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, on their to do list. Murphy is probably the least of their worries right now, even though it would probably irk a division rival. But it just goes to show that one good playoff performance doesn’t turn heads as much as Murphy and his agent would have liked. The Nationals have been in talks with the Colorado Rockies for Carlos Gonzalez.
Pitching, especially after losing Jordan Zimmermann, is another priority, and the Rockies are actually looking for pitchers from the Nationals. One name that keeps coming up is Wei-Yin Chen who posted career highs in ERA and WHIP last season for the Baltimore Orioles. The 30-year old is asking for a five-year deal worth $100 million, which sounds a bit much for the Orioles, but if the Nationals feels pressured to make a big move pretty soon, they might pull the trigger on the Chen signing.