Washington Nationals: Grading Mike Rizzo’s 10 biggest trades
By Brian Foley
2014 with Tampa Bay and San Diego
Trea Turner and Joe Ross for Steven Souza and Travis Ott
Rizzo stole these two prospects from San Diego in this three-team deal, and he is still reaping the benefits. Turner busted onto the scene in 2016, and even though his numbers were slightly down in 2017 prior to his wrist injury, Washington appears to have a budding superstar at shortstop.
Turner possesses an incredible combination of speed and power. On the base paths, he has already stolen 70 bases in 84 chances in less than a full season. If the opposing pitcher and catcher are not perfectly in-sync, Turner is guaranteed the next base. At the plate, Turner packs plenty of pop into his wiry frame. Besides Harper, Turner might be the Nationals’ biggest game-changer on offense.
While Ross may not have the same play-to-play impact as Turner, he is still a steady, valued presence in the rotation. From 2015-16, Ross compiled a 3.52 ERA in 181.2 innings. He fell off this season, and recently went under the knife for Tommy John surgery, but I’m bullish on his return in 2019. He is still just 24 years old; I believe Ross has another gear to reach once healthy.
Souza is the only notable player Rizzo moved in this deal, and he is putting up career numbers for the Rays this season. However, he will be 29 years old by next April, and his ghastly strikeout rate continues to limit his ceiling. Washington would definitely do this deal again.