The Nats need relief. Honestly they probably need 2-3 decent arms to have any real confidence that the pen will be good. They aren't likely to get that which means while the pen will probably be ok, there will be a lot more variability on performance, especially on the "oh they could suck" side. That's not to say they should throw up their hands and do nothing if they aren't grabbing all the good arms left. Any single good arm will help reduce variability. Are there good arms still out there?
Quick run through of the more interesting names
Greg Hollland - Was fantastic up through 2015 as a closer then got hurt. If he's 2013-14 Holland he's a steal. If he's 2015 Holland he's good but wild. If he's something worse uh oh. And he hasn't pitched in 18 months so he's a straight up lottery ticket.
Sergio Romo - Nats can really complete a set of Giants relievers with him and Javy Lopez (missed out on Casilla though) in FA this year. Romo is the epitome of solid. Last year was a step back and injury plagued but he's still effective. Big drop in FB speed might be concerning.
Joe Blanton - reinvented himself as an effective reliever after years of mediocre starting. Hard to read with only 2 relief years to look at but everything seems in order.
Jerry Blevins - Outside of arguably unlucky
Nats stint has been decent and improving over time. Stikes out a lot
more guys now then before. Not a LOOGY. Good against all but hard to see
him wanting to come back here after he was unceremoniously dealt
because he took Nats to arbitration.
Boone Logan -
Solid reliever who didn't let Rockies stint mess him up permanently.
Really good against lefties, but decent enough against righties to not
be LOOGYd. There's some boom potential here if you like guys coming from
Luke Hochevar - like Blanton but figured it out 5 years earlier. Solid but a little prone to the long ball. Had another arm surgery in off-season after TJ in 2014 so might miss start of season.
Tommy Hunter - decent control but no strike outs. Keeps the ball in the park.
Travis Wood - an effective long man. Could develop into a LOOGY as he ages
Javier Lopez - Old guy (39) who made living killing lefties while being good enough against righties. Last year took a step back against both. Not at all a K guy and poor control. Big spike in HR/FB last year. Usually that's fluky but again 39.
There are actually more decent arms out there than I thought. My guess is the dominoes are waiting for Greg Holland to end up somewhere before falling. If I were the Nats - yes I'd take a gamble on Greg Holland - there's greatness potential there, however unlikely, that isn't with any other arm available. The Nats have effective but lack dominance. I'd also pick up Boone Logan to add another lefty arm that's more LOOGY than Solis or a pick-up like Blevins, but not so LOOGY that he can't be useful in the regular way. Plus I like the way Logan's K's went up and HR went down in Colorado. I think there's sneaky potential for him to be really really good away from Colorado. Although it might take a year to right himself. THEN I'd still pick up whoever is left standing in this group (well not Lopez) come March 1st because you can't have too many arms. That's what I would do.
What I think will happen is that Holland will go somewhere then Blanton, Blevins and Logan will all settle in short (and likely that) order. I think they will all get multi-year deals for a few million a year. (I think Holland might get something as long as 4 if you count options) Then the bargain hunt will be on. Like I said Hochevar's injury status will make him a bargain pick-up and he's a Boras client so I think he's the one that ends up here. Another name I didn't mention that might be able to be picked up by the Nats here is JP Howell. He's an extreme groundball guy who pitched very similarly to his 2015 stats but ended up with a worse ERA. He's adding control and sacrificing hits, but since he's a GB guy that's mainly singles. He wasn't effective vs lefties last year but if that was a fluke you've got yourself a Boone Logan type for half the price. If it wasn't a fluke you still likely have a useful arm.