Washington Nationals: Should they stick, twist or fold?

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals walks back to the dugout after striking out in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on June 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals walks back to the dugout after striking out in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on June 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals
TORONTO, ON – JUNE 15: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out for the final out of the game in the ninth inning during MLB game action as Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays records the final putout at Rogers Centre on June 15th, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Fold

Probably the least likely option of the three, but one that’s fast becoming a very real possibility for the Washington Nationals. Could they really be sellers?

Well, if the team falls out of realistic contention, then they have a number of players who have one year remaining on their contract. Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Gio Gonzalez are the most notable names.

This would be inline with the philosophy that you may as well get what you can for them. It may hurt the Nats’ chances of re-signing them, but that seems unlikely for most anyway. Cash in while you can.

If the Nationals were feeling really brave, they could also deal away players with multiple years left. This would mean going full-scale rebuild with Anthony Rendon, and Adam Eaton hitting the trade block.

The logic behind a full-blown rebuild would come from the front office’s assessment of the NL East. The Atlanta Braves, headlined by Ronald Acuña, and the Philadelphia Phillies with Rhys Hoskins are built to contend for years.

So if the Nats think those teams are legit, then they could get a haul of top prospects by dealing away their high-end contracted talent.

It doesn’t seem likely given the extremely young talent on the team. It shouldn’t be ruled out that a wholesale rebuild could happen though.

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