Nationals Offseason Acquisition Report Card (Part 1/2)

The MLB season is nearing the halfway mark and the Nationals are currently 31-35. While they’ve put together an impressive stretch of play recently, their overall performance this year has been disappointing given the level of talent on their roster.

Washington acquired several players in the offseason, most of which were expected to provide a boost on both sides of the ball. For some, that’s been the case. However, others have failed to meet expectations.

Patrick Corbin: A-

Corbin has been nothing short of brilliant so far for the Nationals, and has been integral to what success the Nationals have had. Due to the shoddy bullpen, it’s really necessary for the team to have starting pitching that can routinely pitch well even past the sixth inning, and Corbin has done well both in having longevity during games, and shutting offenses down. He’s pitched a very solid 3.59 ERA with a good WHIP of 1.195, and is averaging around six innings per game, greatly benefiting the Nationals and their beleaguered relief pitchers. Signing Corbin, who was expected by many to sign with either the Yankees or Phillies, was probably the best offseason move the Nationals have made in the past several years.

Yan Gomes: C-

Despite appearing in the All-Star game last season, Gomes has had a bit of a diminished role this year, taking almost a secondary position in the platoon with Kurt Suzuki. The latter has been the superior player so far, at least at the plate. His play can be described as subpar, as he is hitting a below-average .230. He’s been solid on defense thus far and almost anyone is an upgrade over Matt Wieters, so getting Gomes and having a catcher that wasn’t an instant out in the lineup was of course a good decision. He just isn’t playing up to his standards yet.

Kurt Suzuki: B+

The return of the prodigal son Kurt Suzuki has been one of the best things to happen to the Nationals this offseason. The former Atlanta Braves’ catcher is hitting a stellar .278 with a .812 OPS. Suzuki has come back to the Nationals’ as a much better player than he was with us before. Although defensively he can be a bit of a liability, he provides positive production from the catcher’s position instead of a black hole, which is a drastic upgrade from Wieters last season, who  barely hit above the Mendoza line and played poor defense.

Brian Dozier: D+

With the departure of Daniel Murphy in the middle of the season last year, the team badly needed production out of the middle infield. Wilmer Difo simply isn’t an everyday major league player, and Howie Kendrick, while a consistently solid player, is getting up there in years and spends a lot of time on the DL. Brian Dozier looked like he could be a good fit for the team, provide solid production, and seemed like a solid bounce-back candidate after a tough season last year. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, Dozier is hitting an abysmal .230, and made things even more difficult after the injuries of key players like Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner, when the Nats needed offense bad. He’s been good in the field, but overall this signing has not turned out well. However, there’s still plenty of time for that turn around.

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