Washington Nationals Trade Target: Ryan Braun

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May 2, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) hits a double in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) hits a double in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Could the Washington Nationals look to add Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun at the trade deadline?

While the trade deadline is still a couple of months away, it is not too early to speculate possible trade targets for the Washington Nationals. One name that has been floated out there in recent weeks is Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder, Ryan Braun. Braun is having a great season in Milwaukee as he is hitting .380 with seven home runs, 27 RBI’s, and a .444 on-base percentage.

In an article written by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network on Tuesday, he said that Braun would be one of the players that would make sense for the Nats:

"“The Brewers’ Ryan Braun would make sense for the Nats; so would a number of other outfielders.” (h/t Rosenthal, FOX Sports)"

Right now, the Washington Nationals have enough outfielders, but with Jayson Werth only hitting .196 with six home runs and 19 RBI’s. The problem with the Nats trading for another outfielder is they have Werth and Ben Revere under contract until after the 2017 season.

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The other factor that would hurt the Nats in a deal for Braun would be the money that he is still owed on his deal. The Brewers have him under team control until after the 2021 season and still has $76 million left on the deal after this year ($4 million buyout for 2021). Also, the Nats are one of the teams that Braun would have to approve a trade to go to.

Braun won the National League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and was the 2011 NL MVP. However, Braun tested positive for PED’s that he took during the MVP year and blamed the person collecting the test results. He would end up winning his appeal, but ended up serving a 65-game suspension during the 2013 season after being found as one of the players involved in Biogenesis.

Last season, the 32-year-old hit .285 with 25 home runs, 84 RBI’s, had a .356 on-base percentage and ended up being on the National League All-Star team for the sixth time in his career (first time since 2012). He has a .308 average at Nats Park with two home runs and 12 RBI’s in 24 games.

Even though Braun would bring another potent power bat to the Washington Nationals lineup, I don’t think outfield is a pressing need for the team despite the organization trying to get Jason Heyward and Yoenis Cespedes last winter. Plus, I see the need for another bullpen arm as a bigger need right now.

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Now, if the Nats were to have injuries in their outfield as the season progresses, I don’t see Braun as a bad option in that situation. However, if the Brewers do make him available, many teams will be looking to go after him as that impact bat. The Nats could make a play, but I could see several other teams having more to offer Milwaukee to acquire Braun if the Brewers don’t see him as part of their long-term plans.

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