Nationals Rumor Roundup: Matt Garza, David Price And Jacoby Ellsbury

USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year again and the Washington Nationals' willingness to spend in the last few seasons is likely to have them mentioned in connection with just about every big name out there on the trade and free agent markets this winter. Matt Garza? Check. David Price? There are rumors. Jacoby Ellsbury? You betcha...

Last July, Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported that the struggling Washington Nationals were once again expressing interest in veteran right-hander Matt Garza, whose name had come up in previous seasons when the Nats were in the market for pitching help.

"We're certainly going to try to upgrade the roster and fill some needs that we feel that we have." - Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on Nats' plans for the winter

"The Nationals have kicked the tires on Cubs right-hander Matt Garza," the WaPost reporter wrote quoting "one person familiar with the situation" who said the Nats hadn't gotten as far as making an offer. Chicago eventually dealt Garza to Texas in a 4-for-1 deal that sent two of the Rangers' Top 5 prospects (according to Baseball America), 1B/3B Mike Olt and RHP Justin Grimm, to the Cubs.

The trade to Texas came two years after Chicago acquired the right-hander from the Tampa Bay Rays in an eight-player deal. If the Nationals want to acquire Garza now it will only cost them cash. Since the 29-year-old, eight-year veteran was traded this season, the Rangers didn't have the option of making a qualifying offer to the starter who becomes a free agent at midnight tonight.

Talking David Price With D-RaysBay.com: Gauging Interest in David Price, Part 5 Comment Section

The Washington Post's Mr. Kilgore named Garza along with Josh Johnson as two pitchers who might be attractive to the Nats since they weren't given qualifying offers which would have tied them to draft picks. Kilgore also joined colleague Thomas Boswell in suggesting Washington will be in the market for pitching, writing that it'sfds "highly unlikely" the Nationals will go into the 2014 campaign with Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan competing for the fifth spot.

The WaPost's Mr. Boswell wrote in September that after trying Edwin Jackson in 2012 and Dan Haren this season, the Nationals, "... clearly need another [starting pitcher] with Haren leaving," after they, "... went into the [2013] season 'thin' at starting pitcher after the top five. And they certainly paid for it."

MLBTraderumors.com agreed on the Nats' need for pitching and potential interest in Garza matching the Nationals and the right-handed free agent up in their Top 50 Free Agent predictions.

MLBTraderumors.com's prediction was that Garza would get 4-year/$60M deal.

MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote last month that a source told him, "... the Nats have interest in Rays left-hander David Price or Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer if they are available this offseason."

New York Post writer David Lennon sees the Nationals expressing interest in Boston Red Sox' outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the tune of a 7-year/$140M deal. Mr. Lennon isn't the first writer to see a fit between the Nats and the 30-year-old, seven-year major league veteran who put up a .298/.355/.426 line with 31 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs and 52 stolen bases in 134 games and 636 plate appearances with the World Series champions this season before putting up a .344/.408/.438 line in 16 games and 71 PAs in the postseason.

CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman wrote last week that you could, "... add the Nationals to the list of teams that could make a play for free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, according to sources," who told him the Nats could have interest in spite of the fact that they have Denard Span pencilled in as the starting center fielder next season.

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