The Nationals are working the phones, speaking with big-time free agents and well-known players, in an attempt to upgrade their offense for a team that ended up in last place in the abbreviated 2020 campaign.
In back-to-back tweets Friday, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported the Nats are interested in trading for All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant and finding a way to sign touted free agent infielder DJ LeMahieu.
The Nationals have pursued both players in the past, and could be looking to upgrade at third base after Anthony Rendon left for the Angels on a hefty long-term deal following the 2019 World Series run.
Bryant struggled in 2020, hitting just .206 with four homers, but at 28 there is no denying the impact he would make in a lineup seeking protection for the lethal bat of Juan Soto. Bryant was the Rookie of the Year in 2015, Most Valuable Player in 2016, won a World Series, and has been invited to the All-Star Game three times. In six seasons, he has slashed .280/.380/.508 with 142 homers and 414 RBIs. Bryant is under contract through 2021, but the Cubs could non-tender him. Bryant is due to make well over $19 million in the 2021 season. He has played 623 games at third base in his career, and 172 in the outfield.
LeMahieu's accolades include also being a three-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time Silver Slugger, and he has won the batting title twice in his 10 seasons. He is a free agent after slashing a whopping .364/.421/.590 in 50 games for the Yankees last season. The talented 32-year-old infielder has played at third base, second base and first base in 1,150 major league games.
It is likely the Nats are testing the waters on both players, hoping to be able to snag at least one of them to recharge their lineup in their quest to return to playoff contention.