Washington Nationals: Possible August starting pitching targets

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: Stephen Strasburg
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: Stephen Strasburg /
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Dan Straily is the Nats financial dream come true. He carries three years of team control for the price of an arbitration player. In 2017, he is pitching for the league minimum.

If the Miami Marlins think the mighty Nats are about to topple over, then this deal will never happen. Any chance of them contending rides on him. But, if the Fish stay 12-15 games out of first as August drags on, then all bets are off.

The Marlins are a hot mess. The team is for sale and cannot find a buyer to match the price wanted by Jeff Loria. Still reeling from Jose Fernandez’s death last fall, the team is doing well, but going nowhere.

Straily’s name came up in talks before the July deadline, but Miami did not like what they heard. Although a trade remains unlikely, if the Nats dangle the right name and the Marlins fade, a deal is plausible.

On the mound, Straily has excelled. Although the 7-7 mark and 3.79 ERA are pedestrian, his 1.192 WHIP is good. In 123.1 innings, he has fanned 111 while walking 35 and scattering 112 hits. On the back of a rotation, you take those numbers and run.

The 19 home runs will give you pause. Straily allowed a league-high 31 last season with the Cincinnati Reds. As big as Marlins Park plays, those fly balls scare you. His FIP of 4.30 shows he has luck.

Straily clearing waivers is not a lock. Because he is a cheap talent, other teams looking for depth can claim and offer Miami what they want. Although not likely, watch what the Nats do with him.