Washington Nationals
NFC | High Stakes Fantasy Sports
Lewin Diaz
Lewin Diaz Lands NRI from Nationals
Fri, Dec 22, 2023, 12:17 PM
Diaz signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The Nationals look like they might be going the quantity over quality route in attempting to address first base, first adding Juan Yepez and now Diaz as non-roster invitees. Diaz posted an .804 OPS with 17 homers over 118 games for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk but didn't see any time in the majors. He'll get a shot this spring to win an Opening Day roster spot.
Nick Senzel
Nick Senzel Will be everyday third baseman
Thu, Dec 14, 2023, 8:13 AM
Senzel is expected to serve as the Nationals' everyday third baseman in 2024, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Analysis: Senzel bounced around all over the diamond in his last few seasons with the Reds, but third base is his natural position and it sounds like Washington plans to keep him there. Hopefully, sticking to one position will give Senzel a better chance of staying healthy, as injuries have been an ongoing issue for the 28-year-old. Senzel had massive splits in 2023, putting up a 1.008 OPS versus lefties and just a .497 OPS against righties. He'll have to greatly improve the latter number if he wants to keep an everyday job.
Victor Robles
Victor Robles Cleared for winter ball
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 12:01 PM
Robles (back) was recently cleared to play in the Dominican Winter League, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Working his way back from lumbar spine spasms, Robles was cleared for action early last week and has played four games with Toros del Este. It's the first game action for the 26-year-old since June, as he was limited to only 36 contests with the Nationals in 2023. Robles appears healthy now and should head into spring training as the favorite to be the club's Opening Day center fielder.
Dylan Floro
Dylan Floro Joins Nats
Tue, Dec 12, 2023, 4:23 PM
Floro signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Nationals on Tuesday.
Analysis: Floro posted a 2.85 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with the Dodgers and Marlins between 2020-22, but his numbers declined sharply last season with a 4.76 ERA and 1.54 WHIP across 56.2 frames. Hoping for a return to form from Floro, the Nationals will add him to their bullpen, and the 32-year-old righty will likely work in middle relief to begin the year. Jeter Downs was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
Jeter Downs
Jeter Downs Dropped from 40-man roster
Tue, Dec 12, 2023, 4:20 PM
Downs was designated for assignment by the Nationals on Tuesday.
Analysis: The Nats needed to clear out 40-man roster space in order to finalize their one-year agreements with both Nick Senzel and Dylan Floro. Downs ranked as a top-100 prospect a few years ago, but he's slashed just .182/.260/.273 in 50 career plate appearances at the major-league level and posted an underwhelming .236/.358/.379 batting line across 51 games last season with Triple-A Rochester.
Nick Senzel
Nick Senzel Signs on with Nationals
Thu, Dec 7, 2023, 8:08 AM
Senzel signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Nationals on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.
Analysis: He'll have the opportunity to earn an additional $1 million in incentives and will still be under team control in 2025. Senzel was non-tendered by the Reds last month after they decided they were unwilling to pay him a raise in arbitration. The former top prospect hasn't had even a .700 OPS since his rookie season and has dealt with numerous injuries. However, Senzel should at least have a short-side platoon role after slashing .348/.389/.619 against left-handers in 2023.
Juan Yepez
Juan Yepez Gets minors deal from Nationals
Wed, Dec 6, 2023, 2:04 PM
Yepez signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.
Analysis: Presumably, Yepez will be given an invitation to the major league side of spring training as part of the contract. The 25-year-old was non-tendered by the Cardinals last month following a disappointing 2023 season, but Yepez slugged 28 homers between the majors and minors in 2022. He will compete for the Nationals' first base job.
Luis Garcia Jr.
Luis Garcia Not guaranteed second base job
Mon, Dec 4, 2023, 4:40 PM
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Monday that Garcia is not guaranteed the second base job going into next season, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Garcia battled through a disappointing 2023 campaign, slashing just .266/.304/.385 while spending some time back in the minors. The 23-year-old remains talented and would seem to be the odds-on favorite to man second base on Opening Day for the Nationals, but the gig won't be handed to him. Jake Alu, Ildemaro Vargas and Jeter Downs represent potential alternatives to Garcia at the keystone.
Joey Meneses
Joey Meneses Played through knee injury
Mon, Dec 4, 2023, 4:34 PM
Nationals manager Dave Martinez revealed Monday that Meneses played through a knee injury this season, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: It's not clear when Meneses' knee began bothering him, but Martinez indicated it's a big reason why the 31-year-old was basically a full-time designated hitter. With Dominic Smith no longer around, Martinez would like to use Meneses some at first base in 2024 and possibly even some in the outfield. As for how Meneses is progressing in his recovery from the knee problem, Martinez said the right-handed hitter is "doing a lot of agility stuff" this offseason and "looks good so far."
Victor Robles
Victor Robles Not yet fully healthy
Mon, Dec 4, 2023, 3:08 PM
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Monday that Robles (back) hasn't yet been cleared to participate in games during the Dominican Winter League, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Analysis: Robles didn't play after June 20 this past season while dealing with lumbar spine spasms, an injury that proved to be more significant than the Nationals initially anticipated. The outfielder was expected to make up for the three-plus months of lost action by playing regularly in his native Dominican Republic this offseason, but he apparently has yet to fully move past the back issue. Though he's still just 26 years old, Robles' prospect star has long since faded, and he no longer appears to be viewed as a key part of the Nationals' long-term plans after he had his $3.3 million club option for 2024 declined earlier this winter. Robles is still on the books for the upcoming season after renegotiating a new one-year deal with Washington at a lower salary, but he'll probably need to overcome the back injury and turn in solid production in what's left of winter ball to enter spring training as the clear frontrunner for the starting job in center field.
Stone Garrett
Stone Garrett Resumes running
Mon, Nov 20, 2023, 2:29 PM
Garrett (fibula) said that he's no longer wearing a boot on his left foot and was able to resume running on a treadmill Monday, Bobby Blanco of MASNSports.com reports.
Analysis: Garret underwent surgery in late August to address a fractured fibula and also had a procedure on his ankle, resulting in him behind slightly behind schedule as he begins his offseason training program. The 28-year-old said he's still aiming to be ready to go for spring training, and the fact that he's already running three months before position players report to camp is a positive sign. Garrett served primarily as a short-side platoon option at left field and designated hitter in 2023, batting .269 with nine home runs, three stolen bases, 40 RBI and 40 runs over 89 games.
Victor Robles
Victor Robles Staying in Washington
Tue, Nov 14, 2023, 2:25 PM
Robles agreed to a one-year contract with the Nationals on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Analysis: The Nationals declined a $3.3 million club option to keep Robles for 2024, but the two sides negotiated a smaller contract to keep him on the active roster. Given Washington's lack of quality internal options, Robles may play a decent amount early on in his age-26/27 season despite being worth 0.6 fWAR in 275 games over the past three seasons. Robles should hit at the bottom of the order when he plays. He has stolen at least eight bases in each of the last three campaigns and stole eight in 36 games last year while battling back spasms.
Tanner Rainey
Tanner Rainey Avoids arbitration
Tue, Nov 14, 2023, 2:20 PM
Rainey agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Nationals on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Analysis: The 30-year-old righty missed almost all of 2023 on the road back from Tommy John surgery, but he tossed a scoreless inning against Atlanta on Sept. 30 and averaged 96.3 mph with his fastball. He should work in a setup role for Washington in 2024.
Cory Abbott
Cory Abbott Loses 40-man roster spot
Tue, Nov 14, 2023, 12:46 PM
The Nationals designated Abbott for assignment Tuesday, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: The Nats needed to free up some space on the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 protection deadline and Abbott is one of the casualties. Abbott posted a 6.64 ERA across 22 relief appearances with the big club in 2023 and seems likely to pass through waivers unclaimed.
Dominic Smith
Dominic Smith Designated for assignment
Tue, Nov 14, 2023, 12:41 PM
The Nationals designated Smith for assignment Tuesday, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Smith is due a bit of a raise in his final year of arbitration eligibility and the Nationals evidently weren't willing to give him a salary bump. The 28-year-old made $2 million in 2023 while slashing just .254/.326/.366 with 12 home runs over 153 games. Smith is still just 28, but with a .666 OPS since the start of the 2021 season, it might be difficult for him to find regular at-bats in 2024.
Victor Robles
Victor Robles Club option declined
Thu, Nov 2, 2023, 1:12 PM
The Nationals declined Robles' (back) $3.3 million club option for 2024 on Thursday, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Robles won't immediately become a free agent, though, because he carries one more year of arbitration eligibility. A former top-10 prospect, the 26-year-old was limited to 36 major-league games in 2023 because of a lingering back injury and owns a disappointing .238/.312/.360 career slash line in 1,801 plate appearances at baseball's highest level.
CJ Abrams
CJ Abrams Swipes two bags Sunday
Sun, Oct 1, 2023, 7:21 PM
Abrams went 2-for-6 with an RBI, a run and two steals in Sunday's 10-9 win over Atlanta.
Analysis: Abrams finished off 2023 with back-to-back multi-hit efforts and cemented his name in the franchise record books. His eighth inning steal brought him up 47 for the year which broke the single-season record for the Nationals. He finishes the year hitting .244/.299/.413 with 18 homers, 64 RBI, 83 runs and a 32:118 BB:K in 614 plate appearances. Abrams was one of four players this season to hit at least 15 home runs and steal at least 45 bases, joining Ronald Acuna, Corbin Carroll and Bobby Witt. Abrams figures to be a popular breakout star candidate heading into the 2024 season.
Keibert Ruiz
Keibert Ruiz Drives in three Sunday
Sun, Oct 1, 2023, 6:46 PM
Ruiz went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBI and a run scored in Sunday's 10-9 win over Atlanta.
Analysis: Ruiz plated two runs with a ground rule double in the first and added an RBI-single an inning later as part of his fifth multi-hit effort over the last six games. During that span, the 25-year-old went 13-for-27 while striking out only twice. For the year, Ruiz finishes with a slash line of .260/.308/.409 with 18 home runs, 67 RBI, 55 runs scored and a 31:58 BB:K over 562 plate appearances. Though he remains in a rebuilding Nationals' lineup, Ruiz's ability to make contact along the increased power he displayed this season gives him a nice floor heading into 2024.
Lane Thomas
Lane Thomas Tallies four hits Sunday
Sun, Oct 1, 2023, 6:36 PM
Thomas went 4-for-6 with a double and two runs scored in Sunday's 10-9 win over Atlanta.
Analysis: Thomas had been going through a brutal 10-for-81 stretch at the plate coming into Sunday but capped off his breakout season in epic fashion with his first four-hit game of the year. He somehow managed to not drive in a run but did score twice, which brought him up to 101 runs this season. He became just the 10th player in franchise history to reach triple digits. Thomas has certainly found himself a home in D.C. and finishes 2023 slashing an impressive .268/.315/.468 with 28 homers, 86 RBI and 20 steals.
Kyle Finnegan
Kyle Finnegan Records save to end 2023
Sun, Oct 1, 2023, 6:21 PM
Finnegan picked up his 28th save of the year in a 10-9 win over Atlanta on Sunday. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out one over an inning.
Analysis: Finnegan was spotted a two-run lead after the Nationals were able to climb ahead in the top of the ninth. He allowed a solo home run to Marcell Ozuna and Michael Harris followed up with a double, but Finnegan was able to retire the next two batters to put a cap on the season with a win. The 31-year-old finishes 2023 with a 3.76 ERA and 63:24 K:BB in 69.1 innings and should be the frontrunner to close again for the Nationals next year as long as he isn't traded.


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