Washington Nationals not advertised Luke Voit & Erick Fedde + more squad news…

Luke Voit wasn’t originally part of the package the Washington Nationals would get in exchange for Juan Soto and Josh Bell, but Eric Hosmer used his no-trade protection to remain in San Diego before eventually being traded to Boston. Voit, who debuted with St. Louis and played in New York (AL) before being traded to the Padres, was surprised by the deal that sent him from a competitor to the basement-dwelling Nats who didn’t go anywhere in the To be near the postseason in the second season of their organizational reboot.

“Obviously a bit surprising,” he said when he was officially an international.

“Obviously you never know what can happen in this game and it was a weird trade and of course the no trade clause [Hosmer]. I obviously wasn’t expecting to be traded and just before our doubleheader I found out about ten minutes before the game. You know what, it’s a fresh start, lots of new faces. I look forward to a new opportunity.”

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals - Game One

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However, he acknowledged the situation he was traded into.

“That’s simply because this is a younger team and I’m surprised they wanted like a veteran,” explained the 31-year-old, six-year veteran. “But I’m here to help in any way I can. And of course I want to play this game as long as I can so I’m looking forward to coming here and raking with these guys and obviously being a leader in the clubhouse and helping these young guys become the best thing they can be.”

“We had three names for this part of the deal — we had three names for this part of the deal,” Nationals GM Mike Rizzo explained after the trade, which along with Voit, brought back five prospects. “Hosmer was one of them and Voit was one and there was another.”

“We really liked the talent level of all five prospects [CJ Abrams; MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell III; James Wood; Jarlin Susana]and we have an experienced player in Luke Voit who we believe will help with the mentoring process and such this year,” added the general manager.

In 53 games and 224 plate appearances in DC after the Deadline deal, Voit hit just four doubles and nine homers, on a .228/.295/.381 line with the Nationals, with a .225/.317/.416 line, 18 doubles, 13 homers in 84 games and 344 PAs with the Padres before the trade. He finished the season with a 0.2 fWAR between the two teams.

Towards the end of the regular season, Nats skipper Davey Martinez spoke about what Voit had to do to get back to the 1.5-1.6 fWAR player he had in limited use between 2018-20 before the racquet 2021 ended at 0.3 fWAR (.239/.328/.437, 7 doubles, 11 HRs in 68 G, 213 PAs).

“He’s another one who has to stay in midfield,” said Martinez.

“I saw him play – especially when he was at Yankee Stadium – and he scored, driving the ball into right midfield. Why? Because in right midfield you really want to hit the ball. So if he stays in midfield he has the potential to reach 35 and go 100.

“Especially some of those giveaways on third base with less than two outs,” Martinez continued. “He has to understand, ‘Hey, just put the ball in play and stay in the middle of the field and you can drive 100 runs and hit the ball, 35 home runs, but hit the ball the other way. You will pull balls, but most of the time you have to stay in the middle of the field.’”

Voit, who avoided arbitration for the second time when he signed a 1-year/$5.45 million contract with the Padres last season, was due in the third year of four arbitration-eligible years in the winter Seasons will get a pay raise to around $8.2 million before he hits the free-agent market in 2025.

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However, last night the Nationals announced they did not tender Voit, along with Erick Fedde, who was selected in the 2014 first round, and pitcher Tommy Romero.

“Additionally,” the club noted in a press release on the roster decisions, “the Nationals have been tendering contracts to the other unsigned players in the 40-man roster,” which was at 38 by the final draws.

The seven players eligible for arbitration who have been offered contracts before the 8pm deadline last night: Victor Arano; Carl Edwards, Jr.; Kyle Finnegan; Hunter Harvey, Gerber Rainey; and Victor Robles and Lane Thomas.

MLBTraderumors.com predicts Arano will get $1M, Edwards, Jr. $1.6M, Finnegan $2M, Harvey $1M, Rainey $1.5M in 2023 while he breaks away from the Tommy John Operation rehabilitated, Robles $2.5 million M and Thomas receive $2.1 million.

Fedde, 29, finished his sixth big league season with a 5.81 ERA, 5.15 FIP, 58 walks (4.11 BB/9), 94 Ks (6.66 K/9) and a .293/.362/ .470 line against 27 stars and 127 IP in the season.

His manager said after the right-hander’s last appearance in the campaign he wanted to see the starter become more consistent on the mound.

“He struggled,” Martinez said of Fedde’s season as a whole.

“He’s been struggling, you know, and when I talk to him, I talk to him about it – he has to create his own identity and figure out who he wants to be and what he wants to do in order to move forward. I know he must be better. We’re talking about him having to attack the attacking zone. The location is very important to him. Throw the ball where he wants. He needs to develop his move a bit better but he’s got a living arm and when it’s his turn he’s really good. But it’s the consistency with him. He needs to start staying consistent every five days.”

He earned $2.15 million in 2022 after avoiding arbitration with the Nationals and was set to receive a pay rise to around $3.6 million for the 2023 season.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals - Game Two

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Romero, 25, was not eligible to arbitrate this offseason. Last August, he was selected from waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays and worked his way up to make a start for Washington, and the right-hander was hit badly and gave up eight hits, five of them home runs, four walks and eight runs, six earned , in the 3rd 23 IP vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Nationals and their remaining eligible players have the winter to work things out, or they will eventually go to arbitration with anyone they can’t reach an agreement with before it comes to that.

As for Voit, Fedde and Romero, they could potentially re-sign with the Nationals for less than they’re likely to get in arbitration, or they can start looking for a new home this winter…

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