Eight Nationals filed for free agency when 12:01 hit Sunday morning and the Nationals officially have five days to negotiate exclusively with them. If they don’t agree before 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning, all eight will hit the free agent market.
Here’s the list of Nationals who became free agents Sunday:
Rick Ankiel OF
Todd Coffey RHP
Alex Cora INF
Jonny Gomes OF
Livan Hernandez RHP
Laynce Nix OF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Chien-Ming Wang RHP
The Nationals’ discussions with Chien-Ming Wang have been ongoing and there’s mutual interest from both sides from the get-go. There’s a feeling that they’ll work something out but no guarantees have been made that they will have a deal in place before free agency truly opens on Thursday. Last week, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he wouldn’t classify anything as “imminent” or “close” but was optimistic about the way things were going.
As for the rest? Well that depends on how the market shapes up for the Nationals’ main needs. Their top two needs are a center fielder (one of the leadoff-hitting variety would be preferable) and a front line starting pitcher. That being said, if those things don’t materialize the way they’d like their needs could change.
– One other free agency note: the Nationals were expecting to have a Type-B free agent in Jonny Gomes — one of the bonus reasons they traded for him this past July — but his status as a Type-B dwindled during his time with Washington. He no longer qualifies as one, according to the latest rankings posted on the reliable and indispensable MLBTraderumors site.
That means the Nationals will not receive any compensatory picks in the 2012 MLB draft if any of the above eight free agents sign elsewhere in 2012.