The Cardinals literally just won the World Series, but now everyone not in St. Louis who is still basking in the glow of the Championship has started to turn their attention towards Free Agency. The Hot Stove Season is about to be in full effect, but first, the Players who will hit the Market later this week had to file for Free Agency with the league over the weekend.
The Nationals saw eight of the players that were on their roster last Season file for free agency over the weekend, and the question becomes whether or not they will even make efforts to bring some of them back. As far as I'm concerend, they fall into the three categories; players the club will really want to bring back into the fold, players they wouldn't mind bringing back for another season and players that have almost certainly played their last game as a member of the club.
The only player I believe the club will truly seek to bring back is Chien-Ming Wang, the player who has spent the last two years re-habbing a shoulder injury while the Nationals paid him. According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, the club will make every effort to bring him back.
Out of the entire group, Wang is most likely to return to Washington. The Taiwanese right-hander has been in discussions on a new contract for weeks, and though general manager Mike Rizzo indicated Wednesday the two sides weren't yet close to a deal, it still appears likely Wang will be back.
Then there is Rick Ankiel, Johnny Gomes, Laynce Nix, Livan Hernandez and Todd Coffey. The first three could provide depth to the outfield if they come at a reasonable price. Meanwhile, Coffey was pretty effective this year, but the Nats already have a very strong bullpen. Livan could provide another guy to eat up innings, but I think he's probably done.
Then there is "Pudge" Rodriguez and Alex Cora, both on th downside of their careers. Pudge will probably not be back because the Nats already have two major league level catchers that need playing time ready to replace him, and the position is one of strength throughought the organization. Meanwhile, the Nats will probably seek to replace Cora with someone younger, or at least give his time to someone like Stephen Lombarozzi, a prospect the Organization is high on.
We'll be covering the Nats activity in Free Agency throughout this Hot Stove season in this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, head over to Federal Baseball.