After the Washington Nationals made the big free agent splash last night signing Max Scherzer to a seven-year deal, they now have an abundance of pitching. Washington emerged heavily yesterday, and once the signing of Scherzer looked imminent, talk of other assets becoming expendable broke. So now do the Twins take a look at another pitching improvement?
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With the signing of Scherzer, the Nationals projected rotation looks like this:
Yeah, incredible to say the least. That makes Tanner Roark the odd man out looking at a bullpen spot. Prior to signing Scherzer, there was talk that should the move get done, Washington could explore the possibility of moving Strasburg. At this point, teams around Major League Baseball have to be wondering who is available. Any team with Gio Gonzalez as their fifth starter is in a great place.
For the Twins, signing Ervin Santana and extending Phil Hughes make the rotation immediately stronger. Ricky Nolasco should rebound to a certain extent, and the Twins appear to have three quality starters. If it’s going to happen, this should also be the year Kyle Gibson takes a big step forward. With names like Tommy Milone, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May all in the mix for the fifth rotation spot, the Twins have plenty of options. With that in mind, pitching will always be a premium, and is something to be improved.
In looking at what options the Twins may have, there are a few different ways they could interact if they so choose. Should an arm like Strasburg be available, it would likely cost the Twins some of their future. I could see a trade involving some combination of Jose Berrios, Kohl Stewart, or Lewis Thorpe being plausible. I’m not sure if the Nationals would deal Zimmerman, but would think his asking price would be similar. Fister and Gonzalez are likely going to remain in Washington. Although Roark is an intriguing possibility, he’s not someone I want to change the future for.
At this point, there is no reports that the Twins have any interest. However, if the Nationals are willing to dangle a name like Strasburg and the Twins are willing to sign him long-term after this season, it’s something I would consider giving up some depth for.
Look for Washington to field plenty of phone calls from opposing general managers in the coming weeks.