While there weren’t any actual moves made by the Washington Nationals on Day 1 of the 2017 MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo and new manager Dave Martinez did talk to reporters, and there were plenty of rumors that mentioned the defending NL East champs.
Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo got things started with a report on Twitter which said a source told him the Nationals asked about right-hander Addison Russell and left-handed hitting first baseman Matt Adams, both free agents:
The Nationals have asked about Addison Reed and Matt Adams, per source. Makes sense. They need right-handed relievers and someone to replace Adam Lind.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 11, 2017
ESPN’s Jerry Cransick too put the Nationals in the mix for Adams, along with a few other teams, noting that the Nats are looking at him for a bench spot:
The #Indians and #Royals have both inquired on 1B Matt Adams. In Cleveland's case, he could be a fallback if Tribe can't bring back Carlos Santana. #Nationals have also inquired on Adams, but as more of a bench bat. Adam Lind, who hit .303 with 14 HRs this year, is a free agent.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 11, 2017
Matt Adams didn’t have a great trade market but he’s drawing interest as a free agent. Nats royals Indians via @jcrasnick— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2017
Both rumors have a ring of truth considering what the Nationals are known to be after this winter, with clear needs in the bullpen and on the bench. Reed and Adams would be nice fits for the Nats.
Castillo’s colleague at the Post threw another name out there that could make sense for the Nationals’ bullpen since he worked out pretty well after he was acquired last July:
Nationals have expressed interest in bringing back Brandon Kinztler, but so have many other teams. His market is still somewhat unclear.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) December 11, 2017
ESPN’s Crasnick too put the Nats in the market for Kintzler, who closed for the Twins and worked the seventh in D.C.:
The #Twins, #Dbacks, #Nationals, #Rangers and #Cubs are among the clubs monitoring Brandon Kintzler’s market. #Cubs could divvy up their save opportunities if Wade Davis moves on. Kintzler is probably looking at a 2-year deal.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 11, 2017
Another name to keep in mind as the Nationals survey the field of available relievers?:
One name to keep in mind for the Nationals: Hector Rondon. Nationals checked in on him when the Cubs non-tendered him earlier this month.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 11, 2017
Rondon, 29, was non-tendered by the Cubs earlier this winter. Could the former closer work the seventh in the nation’s capital?
Then there was another rumors out of Miami, as the Marlins look to deal away anyone of value to the organization... apparently:
Nats and cardinals are among teams to check in on marcell ozuna. With 2 years to go before free agency, and marlins at least 3 years away from contention (at least!), he seems sure to go. Huge 2017 season, team leader.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
Do the Nationals need to add to the outfield mix with Adam Eaton, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper expected to start, Brian Goodwin a possibility for a fourth outfield option, and top prospect Victor Robles on the cusp of getting a shot to play every day in the majors?
Some skepticism followed the initial reports on interest in Ozuna on the Nationals’ part, though if the Fish are looking to give players away, it makes sense to at least check in for bargains:
Nats may have checked on Ozuna but starting outfielder isn’t area of need. Like most things, doesn’t cost to ask/discuss.— Pete Kerzel (@masnPete) December 12, 2017
In checking with Nats side this evening, continue to hear that they are more than comfortable with their outfield situation. Have not made outfield help a priority at all.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) December 12, 2017
Then there was this report, again from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, which had just about everyone who read it thinking “Nationals”:
Arrieta’s name, of course, came up in connection to the Nationals in a column by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal last week, and knowing that Arrieta’s agent has gone to the Nats’ owners before with big-ticket items, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the connection is being made again.
Rizzo, predictably, probably, downplayed the possibility of signing one of the big name pitchers available this winter, saying that the Nationals, “have great confidence in our in-house options,” and are more likely to add depth to the rotation. But, as Rizzo likes to say, you can never have enough pitching, right?
What rumors will Day 2 of the Winter Meetings bring? Will the Nationals make an actual move?