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Nationals' Cade Cavalli: Expected to open year in rotation
Cavalli (shoulder) is pencilled into an Opening Day rotation role, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America reports.
The 2020 first-round pick made his big-league debut in late August but was knocked around in his lone start before missing the rest of the year with shoulder inflammation. He was able to resume throwing before the end of the season, and the Nationals are seemingly confident in both his health and his ability heading into next season. A secure rotation spot boosts Cavalli's appeal as a fantasy lottery ticket, and he has a fair amount of prospect pedigree, but he'll have to sort out his control before becoming an effective starter. He walked 10.7 percent of the batters he faced across 44 career starts in the minors.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Franklin Barreto: Joins Washington in MiLB deal
Barreto agreed to a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Thursday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.
Barreto joined the Astros on a minors deal for 2022 and had a .162/.259/.274 slash line in 73 games at the Triple-A level before he was released in August. The 26-year-old will need a significant turnaround to have a chance of seeing the majors in 2023.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Josh Palacios: Loses spot on 40-man roster
Palacios cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A Harrisburg on Thursday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Palacios played in 29 games for Washington last season and won't retain his spot on the 40-man roster after he posted a .213/.245/.255 slash line in 49 plate appearances. He spent most of 2022 at Triple-A Rochester but is set to open the 2023 campaign with Harrisburg.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Yasel Antuna: Removed from 40-man roster
Antuna cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Antuna spent most of 2022 at High-A Wilmington but received a late promotion to Double-A Harrisburg, where he hit .143 in 26 games. The Nationals have opted to remove the 23-year-old from their 40-man roster ahead of next week's Rule 5 draft.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Stone Garrett: Signs with Nats
Garrett signed a one-year, major-league deal with the Nationals on Tuesday.
Garrett made his MLB debut in August last season and got off to a fast start to his career, slashing .276/.309/.539 through 81 plate appearances. The 27-year-old outfielder will compete for time in the outfield with Alex Call and Lane Thomas, but it's reasonable to expect Garrett to get his fair share of action in the majors this year.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jeimer Candelario: Signs with Nationals
Candelario and the Nationals agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal Tuesday, Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Candelario was non-tendered by the Tigers after a down season in 2022, which saw him hit just .217/.272/.361 with 13 homers. He's found himself in a great spot to try to launch a bounceback campaign, as his primary competition for playing time at third base will be Carter Kieboom, a career .197/304/.285 hitter who missed most of last season due to Tommy John surgery. A better 2023 for Candelario isn't too tough to envision, as he hit a strong .278/.356/.458 across the 2020 and 2021 seasons.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Leonel Valera: Joins Nationals
Valera signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Valera split time between the High-A and Double-A levels in the Dodgers' farm system last season, highlighted by a .288/.361/.472 slash line over 355 plate appearances with Double-A Tulsa. Valera will most likely begin next year with Washington's Double-A or Triple-A affiliate, but if he can maintain his quality of play from a season ago, the 23-year-old infielder could find himself in the big leagues in 2023.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Erick Mejia: Signs with Nationals
Mejia signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals on Friday that included an invite to spring training, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Mejia spent all of 2022 in the Mariners' farm system at Triple-A Tacoma, where he slashed .261/.330/.433 and drove in 59 RBI over 521 plate appearances. The 28-year-old's versatility on defense could prove to be valuable for a Nationals team that will be carrying its rebuild into 2023.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Derek Hill: Gets NRI deal
Hill signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Tuesday that includes an invite to big-league spring training, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
A superb defensive center fielder who has been unable to hit big-league pitching, Hill could get reps in Washington in 2023, given how barren the depth chart is. The 26-year-old has a career .240/.291/.339 slash line with four home runs and nine steals in 254 MLB plate appearances.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Tommy Romero: Designated for assignment
Romero was designated for assignment by the Nationals on Tuesday.
Romero made just one appearance in the majors for Washington, giving up eight runs (six earned) over 3.2 innings against Philadelphia on Oct. 1. He found more success in Triple-A last season, recording a 3.24 ERA and 1.21 WHIP through 86 innings.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jackson Tetreault: Outrighted to Triple-A
Tetreault (shoulder) was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
He never made it back from an early-July stress fracture in his right scapula last season. Tetreault walked 10 and struck out nine over 21 innings in four starts for the big club.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Evan Lee: Bumped from 40-man roster
Lee was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
A flexor strain limited Lee to 8.2 innings in the majors last season. He had never pitched at Triple-A prior to making his big-league debut last year. Lee could head to camp as a non-roster invitee.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Yadiel Hernandez: Outrighted to Triple-A
Hernandez was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
As a 35-year-old left fielder who has been worth exactly -0.1 fWAR in each of the past three seasons, it's easy to see why Hernandez was cast off the 40-man roster. This greatly diminishes his deep-league value, as the Nationals have one of the shallowest depth charts in the league, so Hernandez's value was solely tied to getting playing time for Washington in the short term.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jake Irvin: Added to 40-man roster
Irvin's contract was selected by the Nationals on Tuesday.
In his first season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020, Irvin spent most of 2022 in Double-A Harrisburg, where he put up a 4.79 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 73.1 innings. He still has work to do, but there's a chance the 25-year-old righty could work his way onto the big-league roster within the next couple of seasons.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jackson Rutledge: Added to 40-man roster
Rutledge was added to the Nationals' 40-man roster Tuesday, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
At his very best, the No. 17 overall pick from the 2019 draft looks completely dominant, but injuries and poor control have really limited Rutledge's development. He made 20 starts last season at Single-A as a 23-year-old -- a level at which he made six starts in 2019 -- so if anything Rutledge has regressed in recent years. Given his lack of refinement or upper-level experience, it may make sense to eventually develop the 6-foot-8 righty as a reliever.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jeremy De La Rosa: Added to 40-man
De La Rosa was added to the Nationals' 40-man roster Tuesday.
The 20-year-old outfielder has yet to play beyond the High-A level in his young career. However, De La Roza slashed .315/.394/.505 in Single-A Fredericksburg, which is all the Nationals need to feel comfortable stashing him on their 40-man roster as he works up their farm system.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jose A. Ferrer: Shielded from Rule 5 draft
Ferrer was added to the Nationals' 40-man roster Tuesday, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
A 22-year-old lefty reliever, Ferrer pitched at Single-A, High-A and Double-A last season, logging 78 strikeouts in 65.1 innings. He saved nine games in 28 appearances at High-A, and could eventually work in high-leverage spots for the big club.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Matt Cronin: Joins 40-man roster
Cronin was added to the Nationals' 40-man roster Tuesday.
Cronin split time between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester in 2022, recording a 2.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP between the two levels. The 25-year-old lefty will likely begin 2023 in Triple-A in preparation for joining Washington's bullpen at some point during the season.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Ildemaro Vargas: Avoids arbitration
Vargas signed a one-year contract with the Nationals on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration
Vargas provided solid production at the plate for Washington, slashing .302/.338/.439 upon joining the team in August. The 31-year-old infielder could slide back in as a starter in 2023, though he will likely ultimately settle into his customary utility role.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jake Alu: Added to 40-man roster
Alu was added to the Nationals' 40-man roster Tuesday, Andrew Golden of The Washington Post reports.
Alu is a nice deep-league sleeper, as he had statistical success at Triple-A and has a pretty clear path to playing time in the majors. Carter Kieboom and Ildemaro Vargas are the top options at third base for the Nationals, so Alu could get a look at the hot corner at some point in 2023. The 25-year-old lefty hitter slashed .323/.372/.553 with 11 home runs, six steals and an 18.2 percent strikeout rate in 59 games at Triple-A.... See More ... See Less