By now, it’s no secret that the Nationals are looking into ways to bolster their starting rotation by adding another arm.
It might be via free agency. It might be through a trade. Regardless, the chances of the Nats bringing in another hurler at some point prior to the date for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training appear to be pretty good.
We’ve already seen some movement on the free agent market, with a number of starters inking deals before we even get to the Winter Meetings.
Ricky Nolasco got four years and $49 million from the Twins. Jason Vargas got four years and $32 million from the Royals. Tim Hudson landed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Giants. Dan Haren got a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers, a deal that includes a vesting option for 2015.
The market, as they say, is starting to play out, and a lot of money is getting tossed around.
Where does that leave the Nats in their pursuit of a starter? Well, there are still a bunch of free agent options on the market, although you’ll probably have a hard time finding one to get super excited about.
Here are a handful of free agent starters that remain available, ones who were not given a qualifying offer and, thus, won’t require the Nats to cough up a draft pick:
Bronson Arroyo (37)
Bartolo Colon (41)
Scott Feldman (30)
Matt Garza (30)
Phil Hughes (28)
Scott Kazmir (30)
Colon and Kazmir could probably be had for a one-year deal. Arroyo, Hughes and Feldman are probably looking at two- or three-year offers. Garza will land the longest and most lucrative contract of the bunch.
Then, there are the potential trade targets. We’ve heard the Nats tossed around as a team that could be interested in the Rays’ David Price, the Tigers’ Max Scherzer and the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija.
None of the three would come cheap, and such a deal would leave the Nationals with a pretty thin farm system when it’s all said and done. But a deal for one of those three would also leave the Nats with one of the top rotations in baseball.
I’m interested in seeing how you all would like to see this play out. Do you see a free agent starter listed above, or even one that I didn’t list, that you think would be a good fit with the Nationals? Do you have a trade target - either Price, Scherzer, Samardzija or someone that has drawn less attention this offseason - that you think would make sense for Mike Rizzo and the Nats?
Which starter do you want to see the Nats land this offseason?