The Nationals typically go into baseball’s non-tender deadline day with some decisions to make.
One year ago, they chose not to offer a contract to Javy Guerra (who later re-signed on a minor league deal), were prepared to do the same with Koda Glover before the oft-injured reliever instead announced his retirement, and after some internal discussion chose to retain Roenis Elías, Hunter Strickland and Michael A. Taylor. (None of those three players, it should be noted, remain in the organization one year later.)
Alas, if you’re anticipating big news today, you probably aren’t going to get it. There are far fewer players this year who need to be tendered a contract before tonight’s deadline, and none poses any dilemma.
The Nationals entered the offseason with a number of candidates to be non-tendered (players who are eligible for arbitration but don’t merit the guaranteed salaries that come with that designation) and wound up cutting ties with them early in the process. Elías, Taylor, Guerra and Sam Freeman all were released weeks ago, leaving only three arbitration-eligible players on the 40-man roster heading into this week: Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Joe Ross.
Obviously, the Nats have no intention of cutting any of those guys. And on Tuesday they came to terms with Ross on a $1.5 million salary for 2021, avoiding the arbitration process altogether.
So that leaves only Soto and Turner. It’s possible the club could finalize…