Power Ranking Washington Nationals' Offseason Signings, Trades so Far
Just as the Washington Nationals' fans have been busy this holiday season, so too have the Washington Nationals themselves.
The team has made several moves so far, including both free-agent signings and trades.
Which of these moves was the best?
Here now is a power ranking of the Washington Nationals' offseason signings and trades so far. This list includes any transactions in which the team acquired an MLB veteran, and excludes any transactions in which the team acquired a minor league prospect, future considerations or cash.
Note: All statistics courtesy of MLB.com unless noted otherwise.
3. Jerry Blevins from Oakland Athletics (Trade)
Blevins fills an obvious need, as the Nationals traded away fellow lefty relievers Fernando Abad and Ian Krol earlier in the offseason. According to Wagner, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo sought out Blevins for a specific reason:
The Nationals addressed one of their most pressing offseason needs at the winter meetings Wednesday, sending speedy outfielder prospect Billy Burns to the Oakland Athletics for left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins. As the Nationals began by sorting through all free agent and trade options, they narrowed their focus to left-handed relievers they felt could handle both left- and right-handed hitters.
The 30-year-old Blevins can definitely do that. In 2013, lefties hit .253 against him while righties hit only .190 against him.
Overall, Blevins had a .218 batting average against in 60.0 innings pitched over 67 appearances, finishing with a 5-0 record, a 3.15 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, while failing to convert any of his four save opportunities.
2. Nate McLouth from Baltimore Orioles (Free Agent)
In baseball, depth wins championships. That's what the Nationals had in mind when they signed Nate McLouth to a two-year contract worth $10.75 million with an option for a third year, according to the team's website.
The 32-year-old veteran bolsters the Nationals' outfield depth immediately. McLouth is a decent hitter with some pop who can get aboard and steal bases consistently. Plus, he can play all three outfield positions.
In 3,118 at-bats over 966 games and nine MLB seasons, McLouth has a .250 average with 100 home runs, 326 RBI and 511 runs scored. That goes along with 129 stolen bases in 152 attempts for a stolen base percentage of 84.9 percent.
For his career, McLouth has an on-base percentage of .334 and a slugging percentage of .418.
As for defense, McLouth has a fielding percentage of .991 with a 2.05 range factor in 1,754 total chances while playing the outfield. All things considered, McLouth's best position is center field, where he has a .993 fielding percentage and a 2.30 range factor in 1,239 total chances.
1. Doug Fister from Detroit Tigers (Trade)
On Dec. 2, the Nationals acquired Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and left-handed pitching prospect Robbie Ray, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
This blockbuster trade is without a doubt the Nationals' best move of the offseason.
On most teams, Fister would be the second starter in the rotation. With the Detroit Tigers, he was the third starter. For the Washington Nationals, he will most likely be the fourth starter.
That's a scary thought, considering the Nationals' fourth starter for each of the last two seasons was Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson, respectively.
Fister is 44-50 with a 4.53 ERA in 818.2 innings over 127 starts and 130 appearances in his five-year career, with six complete games and one shutout. He has 165 walks and 571 strikeouts with a .261 batting average against and a 1.21 WHIP.
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