The Braves Should Steal This Upcoming Free Agent Away From the Nationals After the 2020 Season

Jason Schandl
The Atlanta Braves should target this Washington Nationals free agent next offseason.
The Atlanta Braves should target this Washington Nationals free agent next offseason. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves have won the NL Central in back-to-back seasons, but the Washington Nationals haven't made it easy. The Nats finished just 4 games back in 2019, and they went on to win the World Series.

The Braves can't get complacent if they want to continue to reign over the division. One strong move they can make would be stealing Ryan Zimmerman away from the Nationals when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Zimmerman will be 36 years old next summer, and fans may be worried about the drop in production he saw in 2019, slashing just .257/.321/.415. A deeper look at his numbers shows he still brings plenty of pop, however.

Zimmerman put up a 41.0 percent hard-hit rate in 2019 — a mark that not only blows away his career average of 35.8 percent, but that also represented a career-high mark.

He's no longer a plus defender, but Zimmerman still has posted a weighted on-base average (wOBA) of at least .350 and an isolated power mark (ISO) of at least .220 in two of the last three seasons. He also wouldn't have to be asked to serve as an every-day starter in the Braves' loaded infield.

Signed to just a $2 million deal in Washington this season, Zimmerman also shouldn't cost much to bring in next offseason. He could also offer the Braves another strong bat with a low-risk salary.

Even if he does prove to be past his prime, the downside on a short deal would be minimal. And sticking it the Nats would simply be the icing on the cake.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.