It’s hard to picture the Nationals as buyers or contenders, but Bowden suggests they’ll look for a veteran bat this offseason. If none of the free-agent options appeal to Washington, trading for Verdugo could be the next-best outcome.
Lane Thomas patrolled right field for the Nationals in 2023. He was excellent at the plate but remained a liability on defense, so Washington wouldn’t have any qualms about shifting him to left field if they added Verdugo to play right.
There’s also the possibility that Thomas, who had never produced more than 1.1 fWAR before last season, could be due for regression. Verdugo has a more stable track record and therefore offers more predictability long-term.
Boston might struggle to find fair compensation for Verdugo on the Nationals’ big-league roster, but they do have some appealing names within their farm system.