Washington Nationals Roster
- NL East
- Nationals Park
The Washington Nationals signed free-agent reliever Alexander Colome to a minor-league deal on Friday that includes an invitation to major-league spring training. The Nationals have had plenty of interest in Colome before, including advanced trade talks with the Chicago White Sox at the 2019 trade deadline. The 34-year-old right-hander was an All-Star back in 2016 with the Tampa Bay Rays when he had a 1.91 ERA and 37 saves, but he's no longer in his prime heading into his 11th big-league campaign. In 47 relief innings for the Colorado Rockies in 2022, he posted a career-worst 5.74 ERA (4.54 FIP), 1.68 WHIP, four saves and 14.9 percent strikeout rate. Colome does have 159 career saves, but he's unlikely to pitch in too many high-leverage situations for the Nats if he makes the team out of spring training.
The Washington Nationals agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.25 million with free-agent outfielder Corey Dickerson on Tuesday. Dickerson can make an extra $750,000 in 2023 via performance bonuses. The rebuilding Nats will take a chance on the 33-year-old veteran outfielder after he slashed .267/.300/.399 with a .698 OPS, six home runs, 36 RBI and 28 runs scored in 297 plate appearances and 96 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2022. In a Washington outfield with very few proven players at the major-league level, Dickerson should be in line to enter the 2023 campaign in the strong side of a platoon against right-handed pitchers in left field. It will give him some appeal in deep mixed leagues for playing time alone, but Dickerson doesn't have much upside at this point in his career.
Southpaw Anthony Banda signed with the Washington Nationals on a minor-league deal with an invitation to Big League Camp. Banda enters his seventh professional season in the majors and will rep his seventh different uniform. He spent 2022 with three different teams but saw the bulk of action with the Pirates. Banda twirled a 6.41 ERA across 23 appearances before being shipped to the Blue Jays, where he settled for a little while. The 29-year-old was then waived by Toronto and spent the rest of his 2022 campaign in the Bronx with the Yankees. His season totals rounded to a 6.75 ERA with 30 strikeouts and a 4.50 FIP. Banda will certainly not provide any fantasy value, and the Nationals hope to use him as organizational depth.
Free-agent first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith is reportedly signing a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals, per a tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday. The New York Post's Jon Heyman reports the deal is worth $2 million guaranteed and can reach up to $4 million with incentives. The 27-year-old previously appeared in 58 games for the New York Mets last season, hitting .194 with a .276 on-base percentage in 152 plate appearances. He hit .284 with a .367 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and four stolen bases in 248 plate appearances for New York's Triple-A affiliate last season. As of now, Washington's current options at first base include Joey Meneses and Jeimer Candelario.
The Washington Nationals claimed infielder Jeter Downs off waivers on Thursday, according to a source. Downs was a former top shortstop prospect for the Boston Red Sox, but he became available this offseason when Boston designated him for assignment last week. The 24-year-old has fallen considerably as a top prospect while underwhelming at the Triple-A level in Boston's organization over the last several seasons. He made his major-league debut for the BoSox in 2022 and went 6-for-39 with a homer, four RBI, four runs scored and 21 strikeouts. Downs hit only .197/.316/.412 with 16 homers, 33 RBI, 56 runs and 18 stolen bases in 81 games for Triple-A Worcester last year. Still, he's very young and will get a second chance to develop in a rebuilding Nats organization. Keep him on your radar.