The free agent signing season is underway, and while there are no deals to report as of yet, it's interesting to see what speculation is out there.
Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday has some predicted outcomes for the top 30 free agents, with a couple of Nats-related items.
First of all, he sees right-hander Javier Vasquez signing a two-year, $16 million deal with Washington. Is Vasquez a true top-of-the-rotation talent? He looked like it with the Braves two years ago when he went 15-10, 2.87 in 26 starts. As a Yankee in 2010, his ERA doubled and at 34 - 35 in June - you have to question how much is left in the tank. I'd almost prefer to trade for a younger, higher upside type than invest that much in Vasquez.
Davidoff predicts that the Nats sign first baseman Carlos Pena to a 2-year, $13 million deal. I've gone on record before in this space saying that while Pena is a plus defender, his offensive numbers have gone down every year for the past 4 seasons. I'd sooner pursue Adam LaRoche if Adam Dunn's departure is a done deal.
Speaking of Dunn, Davidoff predicts he'll end up with Atlanta on a 2-year, $18 million deal. The Nationals' offer on the table is already larger than that, and I don't imagine that Fredi Gonzalez will be enamored of Dunn's defense.
In the Boston Globe, Nick Carardo sees the Nationals showing strong interest in Jon Garland, Paul Konerko, and Carlos Pena. Cafardo can see Dunn getting one of the bigger deals this offseason, and sees the Cubs, A's and Orioles all willing to let him play first base.
The baseball writers at Foxsports.com don't see the Nats getting any of the top 10 free agents, and all see Dunn moving on, more likely to an AL team.
Of course, these predictions, regardless of author, are for entertainment purposes only. A few signings will happen before the winter meetings, which get underway a month from today in Orlando. There are always a few surprises.
Why should this year be any different?