Reports: The Nationals might seriously be 'sellers'

Chris Lingebach
July 26, 2018 - 6:55 pm
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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Down seven games in the NL East with only 61 games to play, the Nationals could very well be sellers as the July 31 trade deadline looms.

This isn't just theoretical; several prominent baseball reporters Thursday indicated Washington is on the fence, and GM Mike Rizzo may be battling internal pressure to sell and retool.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo, the Nats have already signaled to other clubs they may sell, and their decision will ultimately come down to this weekend. Ken Rosenthal, too, reports the Nats "might need to win three of its next four games in Miami to stave off growing internal pressure to sell."

The Nats begin a four-game series against the Marlins Thursday night. Already critical to gain traction in the division, the Nats now face the added pressure of winning the series to keep the club together. And, oh by the way, they'll have to do it without Stephen Strasburg, who was on schedule to start the first game before moving to the disabled list Thursday morning, and Anthony Rendon, who's now away on paternity leave.

Don't trust the source? For the official line from the franchise, look no further than Rizzo's appearance with The Junkies just Wednesday, and how he addressed the buy/sell scenario.

"We've been buyers at the deadline, we've been sellers at the deadline, and we've been a mixture of buying and selling at the deadline," he said. "And I don't see that changing moving forward this year."

Rizzo also took the opportunity to state his disbelief that trading a free-agent-to-be in any way diminishes a club's chances to resign the player months later in free agency.

"To me, it was shown," he said. "Like the Chapman situation with the Yankees – they traded him away and they re-signed him the next year. Those things can happen all the time with free agents."

If you're a fan of continuity on the Nationals, you better be pulling real hard for a sweep this weekend in Miami. Or by the time you wake up Monday, you could be rooting for new players.

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