Will Nats make a move ahead of trade deadline?

Josh Luckenbaugh
July 16, 2019 - 9:39 am

The Washington Nationals have fought their way back into the playoff race, currently sitting in one of the National League's two wild card spots. 

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And now the question is: Should the Nats make a trade?

The July 31 trade deadline is two weeks away, and Washington has several areas it could upgrade, from the back of the rotation to the bullpen, which has the second-worst ERA in baseball.  

"I think they need to add a reliever. I think it'd be nice to add a starter," John-Paul "JP" Flaim of The Sports Junkies said Tuesday. "In terms of the everyday lineup, I don't really think they need to add anybody."

"I don't think they're desperate for a fifth starter, because I don't think they're gonna win the division," said Jason Bishop. "But you might need a fifth starter to hang on to the wild card, but I don't think you do.

"As long as those three guys are healthy, as long as Max (Scherzer), (Stephen Strasburg), and (Patrick) Corbin stay healthy, I think you can still win the wild card with those three guys ... But you definitely have to add a piece or two in the bullpen."

Nationals place Max Scherzer on IL with a back injury, out until at least July 20

"There's gonna be a lot of teams vying for starters, but there'll be pieces available. " Bishop continued. "That's the other thing: now you only have the one trade deadline, teams gotta make a decision."

"It's not like you can wait until August 31 and say, 'Alright we're out of it, let's sell.' Now you've got to decide whether you're in or out by July 31." 

But before July 31 arrives, Washington must navigate a daunting stretch which includes nine games against the NL's two best teams, the Braves and Dodgers, a stretch which could massively affect their playoff aspirations and approach at the deadline.

"Come July 31, when the trade deadline happens, you're gonna have a true sense of this team," said Flaim. "When we had Boog Sciambi on, he had a pump the brakes vibe with the Nationals saying look, they're really hot right now and they're playing good baseball, but they're not gonna keep playing like this."

"When asked about it a week ago, (I) said I think that they would be a playoff team. I'd bet on them being a playoff team. But what if they end up ... getting swept by the Dodgers?"

The Nats are in good position to still be playing in October. But they must continue making the right moves, both on and off the field. 

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