The National League West has already made waves leading up to the MLB Trade Deadline. Now it’s time for the Arizona Diamondbacks to make their move, and it could be calling up the Washington Nationals to ask for Bryce Harper.
Of all of the teams we’ve mentioned so far, they probably have the best outfield. A.J. Pollock would be a borderline MVP candidate if he didn’t miss a chunk of the season. Then David Peralta and former Nat Steven Souza Jr. hold down the corners solidly.
However, the Los Angeles Dodgers have pushed a whole lot of chips into the middle this summer. They acquired Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado during the All-Star break as they bid to fend off the Diamondbacks.
To go along with Harper, the D-Backs could also address a few other needs with some pending free agents that the Nationals have.
Although the Nats are among the worst in terms of production from catcher, Arizona isn’t doing a whole lot better. The Nats have a -0.8 WAR from that position, and the Diamondbacks are at an even 0.0. Therefore, if the Mike Rizzo includes Matt Wieters while taking on most of his salary to get a slightly better prospect, that would sweeten the deal a bit.
They could also be feasibly interested in Kelvin Herrera to bolster their bullpen. Although the star relievers have done well in the desert, as the New York Yankees are proving, you can never have too many good relievers.
Prospects wise, Pavin Smith makes a lot of sense as a centerpiece. He’s blocked by Paul Goldschmidt at first base, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Smith has more walks than strikeouts so far in 2018 and has excellent power so could move quickly through the system.
The Nationals will also be keen to add starting pitching depth. Taylor Widener was acquired in the Brandon Drury deal this winter and continues to impress in Double-A with 2.75 ERA and well over a strikeout an inning.
Finally, grabbing Wei-Chieh Huang as a former mediocre starter turned dominant reliever rounds out the package nicely. The full trade is shown below.