MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Washington Nationalsby John Lepore July 21, 2021 0 comments
We all remember how the Washington Nationals went 19-31 in their first 50 games and managed to win the World Series in 2019. Let’s not think that is a normal occurrence. This Nats team doesn’t have much in the minors and does have a few valuable pieces to move at the trade deadline. At four games under .500 and a few contracts up at the end of the year, Washington could rebuild their farm and still be ready to make some noise in the National League East next year.
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Rank: Fourth in the NL East, 5 games back
The Nationals could get an absolute haul with the players that are ready to become free agents. They need it to boost a farm system that is one of the worst in Major League Baseball. With young stars like Juan Soto and Trea Turner, the team needs to think toward next season and beyond while still staying competitive. With an influx of good young talent to the system and the money to spend on a key free agent or two, the Nats are primed to stay in the mix next year and for the foreseeable future.
One of the best pitchers over the past decade, Scherzer is going to be in high demand. He is having his usual great season with a 2.83 ERA and a 142/25 K/BB rate in 105 innings. The three-time Cy Young Award winner would make any team acquiring him instant World Series contenders, if not favorites. Washington has a few promising pitchers in their system but very little in terms of position players. Scherzer could bring in a top-notch middle-of-the-order hitter to form a nasty lineup with Turner and Soto for years to come.
The left-handed closer has been his usual self this season for the Nats. He has a 2.54 ERA and has 20 saves. While he has walked more than normal, Hand is a valuable southpaw and will command a solid return. Another of Washington’s staff who is a free agent at the end of the year, Hand is a mercenary at this point and teams would give an arm and a leg for someone of his stature. Also, see Daniel Hudson.
The man was Barry Bonds reincarnated in June blasting 16 HRs in an 18-game stretch. Unfortunately, his hamstring barked and the left-handed power hitter is on the IL. He is expected back soon and while he doesn’t offer the defensive or baserunning chops of a Joey Gallo or Ketel Marte, his bat can carry a team in the dog days of summer. Schwarber can easily be to a contender what Yoenis Cespedes was to the New York Mets in 2015.
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