2019 is rapidly fading away for the Washington Nationals.
It was one thing to finish in the NL East basement in 2020. It was a pandemic shortened season, the Nationals were unable to get on track, and there was a lot of strangeness going on. Then came the trades in 2021 after another miserable start. But since Max Scherzer was not going to return, and extending Trea Turner was not going to happen, that also made sense. But after trading Juan Soto, the Nationals’ rebuild had firmly begun.
Three players for Washington Nationals to target
It is clear that the Nationals are not going to reload for a playoff run. Add in the uncertainty about their ownership situation and a quiet offseason would not have been surprising. But general manager Mike Rizzo said he was told that the Nationals are to conduct “business as usual” this offseason. For now, this should result in looking for pieces to supplement their core and find potential bounceback candidates as trade fodder for the offseason.
The Washington Nationals are not going to contend any time soon. Let’s look at three players they could eye to help the rebuilding process.
One area that Rizzo specifically mentioned that the Washington Nationals were going to look at was the pitching staff.
Such a plan makes sense. The Nationals do not have really anything they can count on to take the ball. Between the corpses of Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, prospects that may not be ready, and a host of other uninspiring options, the Nationals should do most of their offseason shopping with an eye to the mound.
One such option could be Noah Syndergaard. He had a solid enough performance in 2022, posting a 3.94 ERA and a 1.255 WHiP over his 134.2 innings between the Angels and Phillies. While he is still not back to his previous form, as evidenced by his 95 strikeouts, he did issue just 31 walks and his 85.3 MPH average exit velocity against was the lowest of his career.
Syndergaard is going to be a popular target for teams looking for a potential bargain. His solid performance, coupled with being another year removed from Tommy John surgery, make him someone that could be in line to bounce back in 2023. For teams looking at someone to fill out a rotation or a possible trade chip, Syndergaard could be the answer.
The Washington Nationals need to find someone that can make a difference in their rotation. If he is healthy, Noah Syndergaard could be the answer.