Washington Nationals Explored Adding Brandon Moss

Reports suggest that the Washington Nationals checked in on Brandon Moss this off-season.

According to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post, the Washington Nationals checked in on Brandon Moss this offseason. Then a free-agent, he would have given the team another option with some pop at first base and in the outfield. Evidently, the Nationals lacked serious interest, as Moss signed with the Kansas City Royals to a two-year, $12 million contract.

Depth remains a bit of a concern with the Nationals given their lack of activity signing players this off-season. They only spent $4.9 million on two players, but they were simply bringing back Chris Heisey and Stephen Drew. Although both players contributed greatly to the team chemistry last season and served as quality bench players.

Currently, the Washington Nationals will field Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper, and Jayson Werth in the outfield. Bryce Harper will almost certainly pose as a top-notch producer, and Adam Eaton brings quite a bit of value. Both players are young and have shown stellar skills in their past.

Jayson Werth, on the other hand, will turn 38 years old in May and has not played well for the past two years. He missed much of 2015 with injuries and had lackluster performance when healthy. In 2016, his performance improved a bit, and he did manage to slug 21 home runs. Still, a .244 batting average and .335 on-base percentage combined with little speed and shabby defense leave him to be an average at best player.

While Brandon Moss would not necessarily have been a young option, 33 is certainly younger than 38. His performance would probably have been similar to Werth’s meaning that he could easily slot into the lineup should Werth need a day or two of rest. Moss could also have given the Washington Nationals another option at first base in case incumbent Ryan Zimmerman succumbs to more injuries.

At the end of the day, missing out on Brandon Moss is unlikely to ruin the Nationals’ season. It may not even have been a bad thing given the questions surrounding the slugger. The Nationals may not have been comfortable handing out a two-year deal, and it is entirely possible that Moss simply wanted to play elsewhere.

Instead of adding another bench option this off-season, the Washington Nationals may be planning to wait until the trade deadline to strike a move for an impact player. By then it will be more clear which teams need what, and having a bit more financial flexibility could make all the difference in a trade.

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