The Washington Nationals are apparently searching to bolster an already impressive starting pitching rotation. Earlier this week, they were linked to free agent Jake Arrieta. But it appears the price tag for him may be too steep for the Nationals liking. Therefore, they have turned their attention to potential trades to land a No. 3 starter, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Nats aren’t sure they have the money for Arrieta so they’re looking at trades first. Archer, Odorizzi are on their radar. Greinke may be too. Remember, Nats gm Mike Rizzo once agreed to trade for Greinke (Zack invoked no-trade that time)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 14, 2017
The Nationals have targeted Tampa Bay Rays’ ace Chris Archer and his teammate Jake Odorizzi. They may also revisit Zack Greinke, who they once had a deal for in the past. However, Greinke invoked his no-trade clause at the time.
Archer posted a 4.07 ERA last season in the American League. However, he has proven durable, posting 200 innings in three seasons. He also comes at a bargain price. He is due $6.25 million in 2018 and $7.5 million in 2019. With $385 million already committed to 2016, 2017 NL Cy Young Max Scherzer and co-ace Stephen Strasburg, landing a player at Archer’s caliber at a combined $13.75 million over the next two years would be superb for the Nationals.
Odorizzi struggled last season but the 27-year old has a 40-37 record with a 3.83 ERA for his six-year career. He is entering his second year of arbitration. The Nationals would control him for the next two seasons.
Arrieta, who is represented by Scott Boras — Bryce Harper’s agent as well, could land deal that may be worth $200 million. The Nationals have to consider their payroll that features mega-deals for Scherzer, Strasburg, and Ryan Zimmerman. And with Harper’s pending free agency following the 2018 season in which he could land a deal as high as $500 million, the Nationals have the conflict of trying to improve an underachieving roster while counting pennies.
If Washington can land one of three potent arms in Greinke, Archer, or Odorizzi, they will certainly boost an already formidable rotation that includes Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez to go with their two co-aces.