Washington Nationals: 2017 trade deadline preview

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Jun 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (R) celebrates with left fielder Ryan Raburn (L) after hitting a two run homer in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (R) celebrates with left fielder Ryan Raburn (L) after hitting a two run homer in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the Washington Nationals decide what they need most at the upcoming trade deadline, here are five positions you may see them upgrade.

The Washington Nationals enter the trade deadline period with an iron-fisted grip on the National League East.

Barring an utter collapse of historic proportions, the Nats will go back the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in consecutive years. What happens when they get there is anyone’s guess. If the season ended today, they would enjoy home field in the NL Divisional Series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Still, it is June and a lot can and will happen between now and October. As magnificent as the Nats are this year—and they truly are—merely hosting the NL Central champions in the NLDS is not enough. The 2017 season instead is about winning a playoff series.

Whoever survives the crazy NL West will play the Nats if they advance. To get that far, Washington must take a hard look in the mirror and fix the flaws that can derail this team. The 25 players on the roster heading back home from another road trip will not be the same lining up along the first base line come Game 1.

Something must give.

As this period of self-reflection begins, there are five areas of weakness the Nats can work on. Some are not as urgent as others while the price for fixing the biggest will hurt.

Remember, the team as constructed took three of four in Denver against the Colorado Rockies and two of three at Chavez Ravine versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. At home with the Arizona Diamondbacks for three, Washington won two. Granted Adam Eaton was there, but the offense is still running fine.

Here is where the Nats can improve, from upgrade to trade now for help.

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