The Washington Nationals would like to bolster their bullpen with a left-handed pitcher. GM Mike Rizzo is interested in free agents Mike Gonzalez and Sean Burnett, and could bring them both back to the Capital, according to Amanda Comak.
Both Gonzalez and Burnett pitched in the Nationals' bullpen in 2012. Gonzalez signed with the Nats at the beginning of May and pitched effectively, posting a 3.03 ERA and strking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings. He was used primarily as a lefty specialist and he thrived in that role, holding opposing south paws to a paltry .525 OPS.
Burnett has been with the Nationals since the middle of the 2009 season when he came over in a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 30-year-old had another rock-solid season in 2012, as he has proven himself to be one of the top left-handed set-up guys in the league. He collected 31 holds and registered a 2.38 ERA while striking out nearly five times as many hitters as he walked.
Burnett will likely be more expensive than Gonzalez, as it will most likely take a multi-year deal to retain his services. The Nationals had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season though, so they could be compelled to keep the group together.