The thrilling first game of the World Series just wrapped up with Washington pulling off a 5-4 victory in Houston. If you’re a neutral observer, you may be hoping for six more games just like that one. However long the series lasts, though, both teams stand to see some key contributors reach the open market thereafter. Let’s start with a review of the Nationals’ pending free agents…
Anthony Rendon, 3B:
- I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t already know in regards to Rendon. The 29-year-old is coming off yet another world-class season, perhaps an MVP-level campaign, and is finally getting the national recognition his play has long warranted. As hands down the premier soon-to-be free-agent position player, Rendon has a strong case for a guarantee worth $225MM or more.
Brian Dozier, 2B:
- Dozier was an elite second baseman with the Twins for a few years leading up to 2018, but he hasn’t been the same player dating back to then. After a down season divided between the Twins and Dodgers, the Nationals signed Dozier to a one-year, $9MM contract last winter. Dozier enjoyed somewhat of a bounce-back regular season, hitting .238/.340/.430 with 20 home runs and 1.7 fWAR in 482 plate appearances. That’s still not great production, though, and odds are the 32-year-old will have to settle for another single-season guarantee (very likely for less money) in his next trip to free agency.
Howie Kendrick, 1B/2B/3B:
- As with Dozier, Kendrick’s likely heading for a one-year deal. However, in Kendrick’s case, that has far more to do with age than performance. After all, the long-solid Kendrick, 36, has been an offensive machine all season. Kendrick slashed a jaw-dropping .344/.395/.572 with 17 homers in 370 PA during the regular campaign, when Statcast more than backed up his bottom-line output. Just four qualified hitters (some names you may recognize in Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich and Nelson Cruz) outdid Kendrick’s .418 expected weighted on-base average. Kendrick has further cemented himself in Washington lore with a productive postseason, with his decisive grand slam in Game 5 of the team’s NLDS victory over the Dodgers sure to count among the franchise’s greatest moments for decades to come.
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B/3B:
- The 33-year-old Cabrera has been an outstanding in-season pickup for Washington, which grabbed him off the scrapheap after Texas released him in early August. Cabrera was only a .235/.318/.393 hitter at that point, but he slashed an excellent .323/.404/.565 in 146 regular-season PA after donning a Nats uniform. Cabrera’s D.C. production should be enough to earn him another guaranteed deal in the offseason.
Gerardo Parra, OF:
- It’s hard to believe, but Parra has turned into a folk hero in Washington since the club brought him on a low-cost deal toward the beginning of May. At that point, Parra was the owner of a paltry .546 OPS and someone the Giants understandably jettisoned despite obvious needs in their outfield. Not only has Parra hit a much-improved .250/.300/.447 in 204 trips to the plate since then, but his “Baby Shark” intro has helped make him a fan and clubhouse favorite. It doesn’t look as if Parra would be a bad investment on what’s sure to be another low-paying deal.
Daniel Hudson, RP:
- The hard-throwing Hudson didn’t appear to be an exciting addition for the Nationals when they acquired him from the Blue Jays at the July trade deadline, but he has since established himself an indispensable part of their bullpen. Hudson pitched to a 1.44 ERA (with a 3.53 FIP) and totaled 23 strikeouts against two walks in 25 regular-season innings as a Nat. The brilliance has largely continued in the postseason for the 32-year-old, who has thrown seven frames of one-earned run ball and converted all four of his save chances. Hudson had to settle for a $1.5MM contract with the Jays right before the season started, but he should do far better next time. A two-year deal in the $10MM range could be in the offing this winter.
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP:
- Hellickson was a quality member of the Nationals’ pitching staff in 2018, which led the club to bring back the former AL Rookie of the Year on a $1.3MM guarantee last winter. At that price, it was a gamble worth taking for the Nationals, but it didn’t work out. The 32-year-old Hellickson struggled into May before missing the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Assuming Hellickson signs somewhere in the offseason, he’ll be getting a minor league pact.
Fernando Rodney, RP:
- This season has been a wild ride for the 42-year-old Rodney, who bombed with the Athletics in the early going, got his release in late May, signed a minors deal with the Nats a week later and is now part of a World Series roster. The nomadic arrow slinger tossed 33 1/3 regular-season innings of 4.05 ERA/3.72 FIP ball and posted 9.5 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9 after the Nationals brought him up in late June. Rodney has added 2 2/3 scoreless frames during the playoffs. Will that be enough for Rodney to pick up a major league deal over the winter? Perhaps, but he’s obviously not going to break the bank.
Jonny Venters, RP:
- Venters, who has seemingly overcome one awful injury after another during his career, will have to do so yet again. No stranger to the operating table, Venters underwent yet another serious procedure (on a torn capsule in his left shoulder) in August. The 34-year-old’s career could conceivably be over, though he’ll try to get off the mat one more time.
Before I read the article I gotta say, 1 down 3 to go!!!!!!!!
I picked the Nats in 6.
I was thinking win one on the road. Take two at home. And game six Strasburg, anything can happen.
I only made this pick based on the schedule, as I saw the American League opens at home. I was thinking 3 games at home in the middle of the series would be a huge boon to the Nats with their pitching. If they stole one on the road.
Game one. Stolen. Long Series We’ll See. !!!
I gotta say these are two incredibly talented teams. Both lineups, the pitching, it’s fantastic to watch. This is baseball at its best.
Wait until the Phillies nab Rendon from the Nats! LOL
still no pitching!
Worth sticking it to those classless Nats fans!
And then win 85 games in 2020
Add Strasburgh to the list.. even though his opt out isn’t a foregone conclusion it is interesting to hear what he could conceivably get.
Figure out how to spell his name first! Couldn’t wait to spell check before you hit post on this clever comment? Typical Philly thing.
I know it’s not a MLBTR question, but is anyone else having this problem on baseball reference? When I click on a players major league page and click “show minors” to see their minor league stats the stats (PA,AB,HR,etc.) and numbers underneath are severely misaligned. I’m viewing bbref on an iPhone if that matters, is this happening to anyone else?
TECH SUPPORT: Try restarting your phone.
BEAVIS: Did you try kicking it?
Yeah, it happens every once in awhile to me as well. I just ignore it or reload the website.
I have far worse problems than that on here. It is impossible for me to see what I’m typing. I mean that literally. I can’t see what I’m typing at all right now. I have to go back and edit after I’m all done and even when I do that I can only see one line of text at a time. Sometimes I accidentally retype the same sentences becayse I can’t remember if I have already typed it. It takes way too long to comment this way. Between the “No new comments” button that is placed smack dab in the middle of where I am supposed to type and the ads along with the logo header everything is blocked. I have tried everything. I close all the ads possible (but the top ad doesn’t fully go away when I close it) and I downloaded the shortest/smallest keyboard I could find so it would take up less room. I even try typing with my phone tilted to make it landscape. Nothing works. I use an Android phone. If anyone has been through this or has any suggestions let me know. Thanks guys. I would honestly be extremely greatful to have a solution to this problem because I comment on here a lot so it would save me a ton of time and frustration.
“Kendrick slashed a jaw-dropping .344/.395/.572 with 17 homers in 370 PA during the regular campaign…”
Connor, could you check your reactions again to re-confirm? My jaw didn’t drop at reading that stat line, but I did nod my head at least to acknowledge how impressed I was. I just want to make sure you don’t have any structural problems with your jaw.
hope the Phillies bring back Kendrick
Dozier, at the very least, is still crushing LHP. Had a .280/.375/.525 line vs south paws. If he is willing to play some corner infield, he might find a market somewhere. Lots of teams have platoon only left handers, and could use a solid other side platoon like Dozier.
I feel the best option out of all these FAs is Rendon and Kendrick. Guaranteed production out of both these guys all year long. Question is, when will their age start to catch up? Giving a big contract to these guys would be unwise
I wonder who the Nats make a strong play for other than Rendon. I’d bet they’ll make a concerted effort to bring back Howie and Huddy. Parra would be an interesting case. He’ll give you some production but will also being his energy to the clubhouse which is his biggest factor to a team. Dozier will also be interesting. Somewhat of a down year for him, but like Parra, he brought some energy himself.
I can see Rendon going to PHI or maybe CWS/TEX if they want to make a splash and try and compete. Nats will let him walk like they did Harper.
Nats fans can SUCK IT!!! LOL!!!
2-0 in the Series. Hate all you want it still wont change the fact that we are 2-0 in the Series.