This offseason is already a nice change of pace from the previous two winters. It’s not even December yet and the hot stove is already heating up.
The Nationals made their first major league signings yesterday, announcing a one-year deal with veteran third baseman Jeimer Candelario and a major league deal with outfielder Stone Garrett. Both will compete for starting spots come spring training.
The Tigers non-tendered the 29-year-old, switch-hitting Candelario at the deadline a few weeks ago after a disappointing 2022 season in which he hit only .217 with a .633 OPS and -0.1 WAR by FanGraphs' reckoning.
But Candelario has a longer track record of success, particularly in the 2018, 2020 and 2021 seasons. He tied for the major league lead with 42 doubles and produced 3.9 WAR two seasons ago and hit a career-high 19 home runs to go along with 2.2 WAR in 2018, his first full season in Detroit.
Assuming he reverts back to a former version of himself, Candelario should be a solid pickup for this rebuilding Nats team. He brings seven years of major league experience and will reportedly make a $5 million base salary in 2023, with another $1 million in incentives. He was projected to make $7 million in arbitration before being non-tendered, per MLB Trade Rumors, so he’s coming at a low cost.