Washington is not the only team in the mix for Pagan’s services, however, as Rosenthal notes that there is a variety of teams interested in 2-time World Series champion. The Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals were interested in signing Pagan earlier this winter, but other commitments to outfielders revoked that interest.
Pagan, who spent the 2016 season with the San Francisco Giants, remains unsigned after finishing up a four-year, $40 million contract with San Francisco largely in-part due to his age, and past issues with staying healthy. Pagan will be 35 this season, and played under 100 games in two seasons with the Giants.
If the Nationals strike a deal with Pagan, he likely won’t be headed to the minor leagues on it. They will likely use Pagan as their fourth outfielder behind Jayson Werth, Adam Eaton, and Bryce Harper with Pagan playing primarily in center field. Pagan also can slide into a designated hitting role when the Nationals partake in interleague play.
It’s been a busy off-season for the Nationals, who were rumored to be interested in Andrew McCutchen and signing closers Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman, and Kenley Jansen. While they didn’t land with any of these four, they made significant improvements on their roster.
The Nationals let Wilson Ramos head to Tampa Bay, but they recently signed Matt Wieters to make up for it. Their infield is relatively the same, with Ryan Zimmeran at first, Daniel Murphy at second base, and Anthony Rendon at third base. The only slight change is that Trea Turner will be the team’s shortstop this season, instead of the center fielder.
Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Joe Ross make up the starting rotation, but the bullpen looks like it needs some beefing up. Still, Pagan will fit just fine in with the rest of the team’s weapons on offense.
Pagan batted .277/.331/.418 with 12 homers, 55 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases in 543 plate appearances as the Giants’ left fielder last year.
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