Never forget how close the Nationals were to signing Ronald Acuña Jr.

Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals

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Ronald Acuña Jr. stars for the Atlanta Braves these days, but he almost signed with the division rival Washington Nationals back in the day.

What if I told you Ronald Acuña Jr. was this close to signing with the Washington Nationals instead of the Atlanta Braves?

Braves Country, don’t worry about it. We’re cool. But for all those crazy Nats and ticks out there, we were never boys. So let’s take this back a few years to when Nationals Vice President of International Operations Johnny DiPuglia struck out on the power-hitting right-hander from Venzuela. Oh, this one is going to hurt big time, Nationals fans, and definitely not in a good way.

“This one was really deadly for me,” he said. “Ronald Acuña Jr., [I] verbally had an agreement with him. Later in the day, he said he wanted more money and I didn’t amp up.”

“So I could’ve had Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto and Victor Robles.”


Ronald Acuña Jr. looks so much better in an Atlanta Braves uniform anyway

It’s okay. Everybody makes mistakes. Unfortunately, when you make a mistake and that mistake comes back to haunt you 19 times a year in divisional play every year for probably a decade, no, it does not get any better. Acuña is well on his way to superstardom for the Braves, hoping to be the latest Atlanta player to win league MVP. Washington could have had the best outfield in baseball…

Acuña may have already made mortal enemies with those ferocious fish we call the Miami Marlins, but there has to be a contingency of Washingtonians who will never let DiPuglia live his brutal blunder down. International scouting is not an easy job to say the least, but not ponying up enough coin to sign Acuña then in there is an example of when going cheap goes horribly wrong.

The Nationals could have had Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto and Victor Robles. That’s just too bad.

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