Washington Nationals: Three free agents to target this offseason

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Brad Hand
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

The Washington Nationals need bullpen help, immediately.

By upgrading the infield and rotation, the Washington Nationals still have holes at first base, catcher, corner outfield, and bullpen. Let’s fill one of those holes with a quality late-inning reliever.

The Nationals currently have one left-handed reliever in their bullpen, Ben Braymer. They also need a reliable closer. There’s one name that instantly comes to mind here, former Cleveland Indians closer Brad Hand.

Hand led the league with 16 saves in 2020, recording a 2.05 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and a .163 average against across 22 innings for Cleveland. He struck out just under 34% of hitters he faced and slashed his walk rate nearly in half, down to 4.7%.

Best of all, he did not give up a single home run and handles right-handed hitters very well, holding them to a .174/.227/.275 slash line last season.

After passing through waivers with a $10 million salary attached to his name and getting the boot from Cleveland, all signs point to a buyer’s market when it comes to relief pitching this winter, including quality arms like Brand Hand.

The Nationals can afford to be aggressive in free agency and if they believe Hand can improve their bullpen, coming up with the money to land him shouldn’t be an issue.

Next. Quality free agent gambles. dark

With multiple needs, financial wiggle room, and an urge to get back into the playoffs after winning it all in 2019 and being left out of the playoff picture in 2020, watch for the Washington Nationals to have an active offseason.