Despite the preliminary watchlist skewing towards relievers, starters ruled day (as they should) in this year’s Top 10:
- Cade Cavalli (1)
- Jarlin Susana
- Jake Bennett*
- Mitchell Parker* (7)
- Matt Cronin* (5)
- Andry Lara (3)
- Zach Brzykcy
- Jackson Rutledge (4)
- Cole Henry (2)
- Jake Irvin
Others receiving votes, excluding honorable mentions: Jose Ferrer*, Lucas Knowles*, Jack Sinclair, Gabriel Agostini*, Pablo Aldonis*, Amos Willingham, Jose Atencio, Evan Lee*, Jackson Tetreault, Tyler Yankosky, Aldo Ramirez, Dustin Saenz*
Just one of the ten comes from the 2022 draft, which even a non-draftnik like me knew was skewed toward position players, so that’s not really a surprise. Nor is six holdovers from 2021. You might remember that Lucas Giolito was on this list just about every year from 2012 to 2015, despite having TJ surgery the same year he was drafted.
Presuming Cavalli is actually healthy as was claimed in October [pause for laughter], we’ll see him in DC early in the 2023 season. He was the #1 pick on every ballot and the only one on every ballot.
The question of who else we might see in DC next summer is probably not much of a discussion. Cronin is probably the best bet, given he’s a 25-y.o. reliever and one of just two LHRPs currently on the 40-man (the other is Ferrer). But I wouldn’t put money on it, given GM Mike Rizzo’s propensity to favor veterans over rookies.
The Winter Meetings began yesterday in San Diego, which may be a fitting coda to 2022, given that the deadline trade with the Padres will define this team in 2023 and beyond. Tomorrow night is the 2023 Draft Lottery (a.k.a. the Nats, Pirates, and A’s crapshoot) to determine the first six picks next June.
Wednesday will be the Rule 5 draft and the Nats hold the #1 pick. While the CW suggests that by moving two players off the 40 the Nats will be using that pick, it’s also possible that room has been cleared for either a free agent or a trade target.
I’m kind of hoping Rizzo swings a trade with it rather than make the pick, as his trade track record is much better than his Rule 5 pick history, which, to be fair has been limited to the minor-league phase since 2010, and mostly used to restock the farm system.