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Washington Nationals reportedly sign Trevor Williams to 2-year deal; add versatile arm to mix in D.C.

The Nationals faced Trevor Williams five times last season, so they likely have a good idea of what the veteran has to offer at this point in his career...

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Trevor Williams faced the Washington Nationals eight times over the past two seasons while pitching for the New York Mets, so the Nats’ brass likely has a good idea of what they think the 30-year-old right-hander (who put up a 1.80 ERA and a .253/.300/.347 line against them in one start and four relief appearances in 2022) has to offer at this point in his career.

This morning, according to a report by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, Williams and the Nationals have agreed on a 2-year deal which will add the righty who was drafted by Miami back in ‘13 and traded to Pittsburgh in 2015 before he signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent in ‘21, then was dealt to New York at the deadline that season, to the mix in D.C.

Only one of Williams’s five appearances against the Nationals last season was a start, as he bounced between the bullpen and rotation with the Mets, making nine starts total last year, and 30 appearances overall, with a 3.21 ERA, 3.88 FIP, and a .253/.307/.413 line against in 89 23 IP on the season.

In his career, Williams has made 118 starts and 159 appearances total.

According to subsequent reports this morning, Williams and the Nationals have agreed to a 2-year/$13M deal.

The signing comes on the heels of the Nationals talking this week at the Winter Meetings of their desire to bolster their pitching staff this winter.

GM Mike Rizzo talked to reporters about what he was looking for on the free agent (or trade) markets.

“Durability is a key issue, both in position players and in pitching. We want the best player that gives us the best impact. And that could be logging the most innings, performing the best, track record, veteran presence — there’s a lot of things that go into the decision on who to target and who to go after,” Rizzo explained.

Though they have some starting depth, with Patrick Corbin, Josiah Gray, MacKenzie Gore, and Cade Cavalli expected to fill out the rotation, both Rizzo and manager Davey Martinez talked about the need to add arms to the mix.

“Few seasons you go through a season with five starting pitchers,” Rizzo said, “so, you never have enough depth, you never have enough of — innings that need to be pitched, and we’re just always looking to upgrade. We’re not going to add something that’s not an improvement, but we are looking to upgrade the starting pitching most prominently.”

“We’ve got some starters already in our rotation, but we don’t feel like we have enough,” the Nats’ skipper said.

“As the season goes along, things happen. We do need — especially if we can get another veteran starter, it will be great, one or two.

“I talked to [Rizzo] about it, and as you guys know, I truly believe in starting pitching, and that’s what we’re looking to do right now.”

“We definitely need more depth out of our pitching,” Martinez added laters in his presser at the Winter Meetings. “We need guys to go a little deeper in games.

“We’ve definitely got to improve in our starting pitching.”

“Right now we’re looking at a lot of different options, a lot of different guys. Definitely want a guy that we know that could give us some innings. We need a guy that could give us 160 to 180 innings, and those are the guys we’re looking at right now.”

Where do you see Williams fitting in the mix in D.C.? Starting depth? Swing man in the ‘pen? Both?

What do you think of the addition? Kind of what you expected the Nationals to do? Like the signing?

NOTE: The signing comes close on the heels of a trade the club announced last night:

“The Nationals have acquired 1B Francisco Tostado from the Seattle Mariners for cash considerations.

“Tostado was selected by Seattle in the Triple-A phase of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft from the San Francisco organization.”

Tostado, 24, played 77 games at Double-A Richmond in the Giants’ system last season, with a total of 16 doubles and 11 HRs in 315 plate appearances, and a .284/.330/.459 line on the year.