Though the baseball world wondered what the Washington Nationals were doing when they traded two of their top prospects (Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez) and a 2016 first-round pick (Dane Dunning) to the Chicago White Sox in return for outfielder Adam Eaton in December, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo was confident it was a move that would help the Nationals now and in the future.
“We feel comfortable with the deal,” Rizzo told reporters at the Winter Meetings.
“We've done a lot of deals. I like win/win deals. I think the White Sox did a great job of acquiring good, potential upside players. We got ourselves a good, young skillful player that we can control at below market values for five seasons and, again, you’ve got to give to get.
“We certainly got what we wanted in Adam Eaton. The White Sox should and do feel good about what they acquired in this. The good thing is we have depth behind them in the prospect ranks.”
Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office weren’t able to acquire the closer they were after this winter, swinging and missing on free agent relievers like Mark Melancon and Kenley Jansen, but as FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted this week, “Melancon opted to go to the Giants, who offered a similar monetary deal but with a signing bonus rather than deferred monies. Jansen merely chose the comfort of a return to the Dodgers and Los Angeles, where his daughter lives.”
He also added that when it came to the Nats’ pursuit of Jansen, the hard-throwing reliever, “... was so impressed by Rizzo’s straightforward pitch that he called him personally to tell him he was staying in L.A.,” and, the Nationals, in their pursuit, “... actually outbid the Dodgers, offering $85 million.” Jansen signed for 5/$80.
The Nationals will name a closer from their in-house options at some point before the start of the season, with Koda Glover rumored to be the choice and Blake Treinen and Shawn Kelley under consideration.
They added depth to their bullpen with the signing of Joe Blanton, signed relievers like Vance Worley, who could help out, and made another trade with Tampa Bay for left-hander Enny Romero, who’s currently looking like he could be another steal.
After acquiring Derek Norris from the San Diego Padres in December, the Nationals signed free agent backstop Matt Wieters to a 1-year/$10.5M deal. Norris was then released in the oddest move of the offseason in the nation’s capital.
So what do you think of the roster Rizzo has put together for the 2017 campaign?
The folks over at MLB Daily Dish are running a Front Office/GM Confidence Survey, gauging fans’ confidence in their respective general managers.
What do you think of the job Rizzo and Co. are doing now? He finished third out of 30 in last year’s results. Where will he land this time around? Fill out the survey HERE.