Report: Nationals Contemplating LeMahieu, Bryant
The Nationals are exploring their choices on the infield market, as MLB Community’s Jon Paul Morosi stories (Twitter hyperlinks) that Washington has curiosity in free agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. Whereas it may be assumed that the Nats are taking a look at each large names and smaller names, the truth that they’re open to including higher-salaried gamers similar to LeMahieu and Bryant provides us some hints in regards to the crew’s spending functionality this offseason.
LeMahieu can be the costlier of the 2, after all, as he’s projected to land a profitable multi-year deal in free company (MLBTR has him projected for 4 years and $68MM). The Nats would even have to surrender a second-round draft decide and $500Okay in worldwide bonus pool cash to signal LeMahieu, since he rejected the Yankees’ qualifying supply.
This all being stated, the Nationals haven’t shied away from making large additions in free company previously, and Morosi notes that the Nats additionally had curiosity in LeMahieu the final time he was a free agent again within the 2018-19 offseason. (Washington as an alternative signed Brian Dozier to a one-year, $9MM deal to deal with second base, a deal the Nats most likely don’t remorse contemplating they received the 2019 World Sequence.) Although gamers like Juan Soto and Trea Turner will proceed to get costly by way of arbitration, the Nationals have fairly a bit of cash coming off the books after 2021, so LeMahieu wouldn’t put a lot of an additional burden on the payroll.
Bryant can be a shorter-term add, since he’s solely below contract by way of the 2021 season earlier than hitting free company himself. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz tasks Bryant to earn $18.6MM in his closing 12 months of arbitration, so whereas the previous NL MVP isn’t cheap, a few of that wage might be lined by regardless of the Nationals would ship again to the Cubs in a commerce. For what it’s value, Bryant is represented by Scott Boras, whose stable working relationship with the Lerner household is well-documented; on the present Nationals roster alone, Soto, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Seth Romero are all Boras purchasers.
Chicago is reportedly open to transferring nearly any of its higher-priced veterans, although Bryant is one thing of a tough commerce candidate contemplating he hit solely .206/.293/.351 in 147 plate appearances throughout an injury-plagued 2020 season. That down 12 months will certainly issue into what the Nationals or some other crew can be prepared to surrender in a commerce, but the Cubs clearly additionally don’t wish to promote low on a former All-Star (until pressured into such a transfer because of payroll constraints). Signing LeMahieu is costlier but additionally carries fewer query marks, plus Washington wouldn’t have to surrender any younger expertise in a commerce to land LeMahieu.
Trying on the Nats’ roster, both LeMahieu or Bryant would assist an infield that’s fairly unsettled past Turner at shortstop. First base is vast open, Starlin Castro will play each day at both second base or third base, Carter Kieboom will look to interrupt out after a tricky rookie season, plus Luis Garcia and the re-signed Josh Harrison present depth. LeMahieu would slot proper into an on a regular basis position, most likely at second base, however Washington may transfer him round to see motion at each first and third base relying on conditions or how gamers like Kieboom or Garcia develop. Bryant has some related versatility, as he would probably play principally at third base, however may be shifted to first base or a nook outfield spot.