Which should the Nats do?
In terms of which option the Washington Nationals go with this season, it all depends on the period before the All-Star break.
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If they can rally with seven more wins in ten games, expect them to be buyers to make a wildcard push. Although going all guns blazing for a winner takes all playoff game, when you have Max Scherzer, it’s a better bet than it may seem.
Obviously, a catcher will be the number one priority, so if they are buyers, that will be the first position to address. Wilson Ramos is the most logical addition. He knows most of the pitching staff and would be a huge upgrade offensively.
However, should they lose more than they win and sink below .500 after their series with the Atlanta Braves in mid-July, expect a limited sell.
Unless someone blows them away with an offer (like Aroldis Chapman in 2016), Bryce Harper is unlikely to move regardless. But there would be plenty of teams looking to acquire Matt Adams, Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Madson, and Kelvin Herrera.
The Nats have a young core that should still compete next year, even if all their pending free agents leave. So the likes of Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, and Adam Eaton won’t be going anywhere at the deadline.
It would just be a quick top-up for the farm, getting what they can for expiring players. Nothing drastic, allowing the team to try again next season.
It’s a crucial run-in to the All-Star break for the Washington Nationals. If they can pick up enough wins, or drop too many it could drastically change the trade deadline strategy.