Trevor Williams signs 2-year deal with Nats

December 11th, 2022

The Nationals bolstered their pitching depth Saturday, finalizing a two-year deal with right-hander Trevor Williams that was first reported on Friday. The club did not announce the terms of the deal, but MASN's Mark Zuckerman reported that it's worth $13 million.

A 30-year-old swingman, Williams bounced between the rotation and bullpen last season with the Mets, going 3-5 with a 3.21 ERA in 30 games (nine starts). He now appears to be the leading candidate to open 2023 as the Nationals’ No. 5 starter behind MacKenzie Gore, Cade Cavalli, Josiah Gray and Patrick Corbin. If not, Williams could also provide versatility to a Washington starting rotation that posted the highest ERA (5.97) in the Majors last season.

Adding an experienced starter who could pitch deep into games was one of the club’s top priorities at this week’s Winter Meetings. The Nationals are expected to keep targeting pitching this winter and give long looks next spring to youngsters like No. 6 prospect Cole Henry and Rule 5 righty Thad Ward. Washington got the third-fewest innings out of its rotation in the Majors last season.

“If you’re making 30 starts, you’ve had a pretty successful season, I think,” general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters in San Diego. “Durability is a key issue, both with position players and in pitching. We want the best player that gives us the best impact. That could be logging the most innings, performing the best, track record, veteran presence. … There’s a lot of things that go into the decision on who to target and who to go after.”

Originally a second-round pick by the Marlins in 2013, Williams debuted with the Pirates in 2016 and pitched for the club through 2020. He signed with the Cubs in 2021 and was dealt to the Mets along with Javier Báez at the Trade Deadline, pitching to a 3.17 ERA in 40 appearances (12 starts) in Queens over parts of two seasons. Williams provided New York’s star-studded rotation valuable depth in 2022, but spent much of the second half in long relief and was left off its NL Wild Card Series roster.

All told, Williams owns a 38-44 record and a 4.27 ERA with 590 strikeouts over 715 1/3 innings in seven big league seasons with the Pirates, Cubs and Mets.

The Nationals also made a separate minor move Thursday, acquiring first baseman Francisco Tostado from the Mariners for cash considerations. Tostado was selected by Seattle from San Francisco in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft earlier in the day.