Mike Rizzo was happy with the Washington Nationals' roster before Friday night's trade for veteran outfielder Ben Revere and a Player To Be Named Later, and he said he was happy with the Nationals' roster after he sent Drew Storen to the Toronto Blue Jays for the left-handed hitting outfielder the Nats were rumored to be after all winter, with Jason Heyward (who got a $200M offer according to reports), Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and more mentioned as players of interest before the latest deal went down.
Revere, 27, who's projected to earn $6.7M in 2016, and is under team control through 2017, fits the profile of the type of player the Nationals were looking to add after parting ways with center fielder Denard Span, who signed a 3-year/$31M free agent deal with the San Francisco Giants following an injury-and-surgery-filled 2015 in D.C.
"We like the fact that Ben will be with us for at least two seasons," Rizzo explained in a conference call on Saturday.
"I thought that was an important component because we like the player. He’s age-appropriate at 27 years old. He’s got a lot left in the tank and we think that he’s a player that can impact us for a couple of years."
Revere, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, put up a .306/.342/.377 line and collected 22 doubles, seven triples, two home runs and 31 stolen bases in 152 games and 634 plate appearances, finishing the year at 1.9 WAR, and as Rizzo explained it, he's always comfortable trading a reliever with one year of control left (and cash in this instance) for an everyday player, especially when you get a PTBNL thrown in as well.
"Any time you get an everyday-type of player that can impact the ballclub and fits a need so well for a reliever that has one year left, then that’s something you have to look into," Rizzo said. He apparently liked the deal, and he compared it to last year's trade that sent Yunel Escobar to the Oakland A's for Tyler Clippard and this winter's trade with the Los Angeles Angels that sent Escobar to LA for relievers Trevor Gott and Michael Brady.
"It’s something that we’ve done the last two years with Escobar and now Drew for Ben. I like that fact," Rizzo said.
"To acquire players and give up money to make deals, I think that’s something that the Lerner family has always allowed us to do. It’s something that really can impact your depth, as you’re not only getting Ben Revere for Drew Storen, you’re also getting another player that can help your minor league depth and then possibly in the big leagues some time."
So after the additions of relievers Shawn Kelley, Oliver Perez, Yusmeiro Petit and Gott, infielders Daniel Murphy, who signed a 3-year/$37.5M free agent deal, and Stephen Drew (one-year deal) and now Revere, is Rizzo happy with the roster?
"I like where we’re at. We’ve done a lot of the things that we wanted to get better at during the offseason," Rizzo said.
"I think we’re much more balanced now. I think we’re a different offensive club. Our offensive efficiency should go up.
"We’re going to strike out less and put the ball in play more. We’re going to be more athletic and faster this year. We’ve got ourselves an array of different players that are versatile. We’ve given Dusty [Baker] a lot of ammunition in a lot of different ways to win a ballgame. We like the way the roster is constructed right now.
"We feel comfortable with the roster in general and with the bullpen. If we broke camp and started the season today, we’d be comfortable with where we’re at."
"But of course, we never rest and we’re always trying to improve the baseball team," Rizzo told reporters.
But what about the rumors of interest in a rotation addition? Will they add another arm (like Wei-Yin Chen maybe?) this winter or go forward with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross in the rotation and, as he's said this winter, A.J. Cole and Taylor Jordan in reserve with prospects like Austin Voth, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito as part of the next wave?
"I like the rotation as it is," Rizzo said. "We have a very talented, quality starting rotation. We have a lot of depth. I like the roster as we are constructed right now. I don’t see any major needs that we haven’t addressed."