Obviously, holding firm and staying with their current crop of players is the safe approach for the Washington Nationals. But there is some reason to believe they’d do so.
First off, we start with the biggest potential trade chip, Bryce Harper. It’s fair to think that the Nationals do actually have a good chance of re-signing him in the off-season. So to increase those chances they should hold onto him.
Seeing as he’s trying out first base again, that could well be his long-term home in Washington. Therefore, a trade could potentially sour that relationship, especially if they sell low, agent Scott Boras won’t be happy.
But with the Nationals, coming into the year, the roster they had was good enough to make the playoffs. So sticking with this team, and seeing if they can turn it around could still allow them to sneak into a wild card race.
Also, a factor is that the Nats farm system is somewhere in the middle of the road, so they aren’t keen to deplete this for rentals.
In a stick scenario, the Nats could still make very minor moves that would only cost low-end prospects. So perhaps a middle reliever, or a catcher like A.J. Ellis that wouldn’t cost much in terms of prospects.
Again, this would be the safest approach, and may well be the most likely for the Washington Nationals.