Free agents Marwin Gonzalez and Jed Lowrie are among several second basemen the Nationals have reached out to this offseason, Jamal Collier of MLB.com reports. The open market remains rife with familiar second basemen as the New Year approaches, though Gonzalez and Lowrie are likely the two best choices available. Both Gonzalez and Lowrie are accomplished switch-hitters, but the former is easily the more versatile of the two in the field. Gonzalez is capable of lining up everywhere in the infield and in both corner outfield positions. The Nationals, of course, will take a hit in the corner outfield if free agent Bryce Harper signs elsewhere, so Gonzalez would give them some more depth in the grass.
Here’s more from the National League:
- The Padres, who are known to be in the hunt for the Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto, have shown more persistence than any other team in talks for the catcher, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. With two years of control left and Miami nowhere near contention, Realmuto could be the most obvious trade candidate in the game. However, the Marlins may have to lower their asking price in order for a deal to come together prior to next season. They’re said to want a return consisting of at least one elite prospect, and the Padres happen to boast baseball’s top-ranked farm system, per both Baseball America and FanGraphs. So, if the Padres are truly motivated to land Realmuto, they may be in better position than anyone else. That said, San Diego would not be a popular bet to contend in 2019 even with Realmuto, making it highly debatable whether the team should rob from its system in a win-now trade.
- Given the needs in the Braves’ corner outfield and pitching staff, David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets that they and the Diamondbacks could be logical trade partners. Outfielder David Peralta, left-hander Robbie Ray and righty Zack Greinke may all be fits for the Braves, O’Brien posits, though he notes the Diamondbacks would have to eat a significant portion of the $95.5MM left on Greinke’s contract to make him a realistic possibility for Atlanta. There are no weighty financial obligations for either Peralta or Ray, who are each under affordable arbitration control through 2020. The Braves have already come up short in an attempt to acquire Peralta this offseason, though, and the D-backs don’t seem willing to part with Ray.
- Sticking with the Braves, they may pursue free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel if he becomes willing to accept a three-year offer, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com. That looks rather unlikely, however, considering Kimbrel’s current asking price reportedly ranges anywhere from $86MM to upward of $100M. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see the Braves in the race for Kimbrel, whom they drafted in 2008 and helped develop into one of the greatest closers ever. Kimbrel, now 30, was a Brave from 2010-14 before moving on to the Padres and Red Sox.