Assessment: The overall pool money will remain unchanged, but as Rany Jazayerli pointed out on Twitter, this should disincentivize teams from tanking (at least a little). What teams with the No. 1 pick had been doing was signing that player for less money than the slot figure, giving them money to spend elsewhere in the draft. Most notably, the Astros signed Carlos Correa for $4.8 million compared to his slot value of $7.2 million, which gave them extra money to draft and sign Lance McCullers later in the draft.
With the slot money for the top picks lowered and redistributed, the draft pools given to each club shouldn’t have such a wide range, or conceivably give the teams at the top of the draft less money. In 2016, pool money ranged from $13.9 million for the Reds to $2.2 million for the Cubs. We’ll have to wait for the details, but anything that discourages tanking is a good thing.
Still, Norris gives the Nats a reliable right-handed hitting veteran to go along with switch-hitting backup Jose Lobaton, who’s better from the left side. The Norris acquisition should also allow Rizzo to focus more of his attention — and the team’s money — on addressing other needs.
At this point, there’s no telling exactly what kind of contract Wieters will sign. But you can be darned sure he’ll outearn Norris by a bunch.
Limited Youth Sergei Fedorov Jersey There’s no telling where exactly the Nationals will apply those savings, but given Rizzo’s history for making offseason splashes — he inked Max Scherzer in 2014 and Daniel Murphy last year — and given that Washington is built to win now, it’s a safe assumption that the funds will be put to good use, probably sooner rather than later.
Maybe it’s to finalize the deal that everyone has been whispering about over the last couple days, the one that could bring Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen to D.C. Maybe it’s to sign one of the big three free-agent closers (Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon). Maybe it’s both.
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Regardless, this much is for sure: Rizzo and the Nats aren’t done dealing.