3 Nationals Who Won't Be on the Roster at the Start of the 2023 Season
Washington Nationals fans just can't wait for the 2022 MLB season to be over. And you can't blame them. The Nationals own a Major League-worst 41-82 record through 123 games, likely forcing them to miss the playoffs for the third straight season since winning the 2019 World Series.
General manager Mike Rizzo must do his best to clean up the roster this offseason. While the future looks bright following the Juan Soto trade, Rizzo needs to get rid of any underperforming players if it means a likelier shot at the 2023 postseason.
Here are three Nationals who likely won't be on the roster to start the 2023 MLB season.
Nationals Roster Rumors
1. Nelson Cruz, DH
After being an MLB All-Star at the age of 41 last year, Nelson Cruz has taken a step back since joining the Nats for the 2022 campaign. The now-42-year-old went from 32 home runs and 86 RBIs in 140 games last year to just 10 and 60, respectively, through 109 contests this season. The Nationals included a 2023 mutual option in Cruz's contract and it might be the best idea to part ways. Cruz's MLB days could be over sooner than later and if he wants to win a World Series, it likely won't happen in the Nation's Capital next year. Agreeing to decline the option would then open a roster spot for one of the Nationals' younger players while allowing Cruz to compete on a contender.
2. Tyler Clippard, RP
Between injuries and beginning the 2022 season in the minors, Tyler Clippard has not looked good this year. The veteran reliever has made four relief appearances for the Nationals, giving up four walks and four runs on six hits over just five innings, resulting in a 7.20 ERA. While there's a chance that he could bounce back down the stretch, there's a reason why he's played for eight different clubs since 2017. The two-time All-Star just isn't seen as a long-term option and unless he has a major bounce-back, that trend could continue as he's set to become a free agent this winter.
3. César Hernández, 2B
The Nationals had high hopes for César Hernández after he recorded a career-high 21 HRs in 149 games between the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox in 2021. Unfortunately, the Venezuelan switch-hitter has yet to clear the outfield wall in 478 at-bats this season. Making matters worse, Hernández's .247/.306/.312 slash line is noticeably below his career average of .268/.341/.376. There isn't much incentive to bring Hernández back in 2023, especially when the Nationals reportedly tried to move him at the deadline but to no avail.
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