Acquired or traded
Like several team executives this past offseason, Rizzo was strikingly ambivalent about pursuing the trade market. Since the end of the 2022 season, he has obtained the services of just two major league players via a trade, purchase or waiver claim with another team.
More interestingly, not a single member of the 2022 Nats has left the organization via team-to-team negotiation and made the roster of another team this season. That may, of course, be more of a commentary on the desirability of the 2022 Nats’ personnel than on Rizzo’s willingness to deal.
One of the two pickups has gotten a fair share of public attention largely due to the hype surrounding his original rise through the Boston Red Sox system.
In December, Rizzo acquired shortstop Jeter Downs from the Red Sox via a waiver claim. When Downs arrived in Boston in 2022, it was to great fanfare … most of it probably because his name was Jeter.
It wasn’t his minor league record. Downs had hit .190 and .197 at Triple-A in 2021 and 2022, and he managed only a .154 average in 25 games with the Sox. That’s why they made him available at a deep discount.
In Washington’s system, Downs has again labored at Triple-A, where this season he’s batting .119. He got a one-game callup and went hitless in two at-bats.
The only other Nat who has seen major league action this year after coming to the organization in a deal was pitcher Thad Ward. A rookie, the Nats also got him in a December waiver claim from the Red Sox.
Unlike Downs, Ward made the big club out of spring training and has stuck, appearing in 22 games although with a 7.12 ERA.