The Nationals made a flurry of roster moves last week to begin the offseason, thanks to two deadlines. Earlier in the week, they had to remove players from the 40-man roster and add eligible prospects they wanted to protect from the Rule 5 draft. Then a week ago today, they needed to tender or non-tender contracts to their 10 arbitration-eligible players.
In all, they removed seven players from the 40-man roster (Tres Barrera, Francisco Pérez, Seth Romero, Yadiel Hernandez, Jackson Tetreault, Evan Lee and Tommy Romero) and added six Rule 5-eligible prospects (Jake Alu, Jeremy De La Rosa, Jackson Rutledge, Jake Irvin, Matt Cronin and Jose Ferrer). They then agreed to terms with Ildemaro Vargas on his 2023 salary, tendered seven contracts to arbitration-eligible players (Lane Thomas, Victor Robles, Kyle Finnegan, Carl Edwards Jr., Hunter Harvey, Tanner Rainey and Victor Arano) and non-tendered Erick Fedde and Luke Voit.
A lot of movement to keep track of in one week of the offseason.
Two of those moves, however, are the latest examples of an underlying issue the Nats have had in roster construction over the last decade. Fedde and Seth Romero are the newest names added to a growing list of failed first-round draft picks made under Mike Rizzo’s tenure as general manager.
Fedde was non-tendered in his second year of arbitration eligibility after parts of six seasons with the Nationals. He was the 18th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (just days after having Tommy John surgery) with expectations of being a part of the big league rotation for years to come.