Nationals Rumors: Tanner Roark trade is being discussed

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ATLANTA, GA - MAY 31: Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 31: Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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There continue to be further Nationals rumors at the MLB Winter Meetings this week. The latest is that a trade involving Tanner Roark is being discussed.

With the MLB Winter Meetings now in full swing, a few Washington Nationals rumors are cropping up. The latest came on early on Tuesday morning, and it could see Tanner Roark dealt away from the Nats.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the Nats have engaged in multiple discussions to traded away the veteran right-hander. While there are no other details about a potential trade, a deal could come together pretty quickly in Las Vegas.

With Mike Rizzo seeking to upgrade his rotation, Roark could very well be the casualty of the current group. According to MLBTradeRumors, the right-hander is projected to make around $9.8 million this offseason in his final year of arbitration.

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Roark has had an up and down career with the Nationals since his first call-up way back in 2013. In 2016, he finished 10th in the NL Cy Young voting with a 16-10 record and 2.83 ERA, however, since then, it’s not been pretty. In 2017 and 2018 combined he’s had a 4.50 ERA as he’s struggled for consistency, just as we saw last season.

In 2018, he started solidly with a 3.17 ERA in his first 10 starts, but then in his next 10, he produced an ugly 7.11 as he lost his command a bit and was hit hard. He did at least salvage his season a bit with a seven-start run where he produced a 1.61 ERA, but the damage was already done in 2018 with the Nats far out of contention.

While Roark could still do a job for the Nationals in 2018, at nearly $10 million in salary, there is going be much better value out there for that fourth or fifth rotation spot, either via trade or free agency. So exploring a trade to see what can be had for the right-hander is definitely wise of the Nationals.

It’s not yet clear what any possible return could look like for the Nationals in a Roark deal, or whether they would be after prospects or big league talent. However, if it’s prospects, perhaps a package containing slightly better prospects than the team got for Gio Gonzalez could be possible.

MLBTradeRumors recently speculated that Tanner Roark could be used in some way in a trade for Scooter Gennett, given both are in a similar contract situation. While the Nats could likely need to give up more than just Roark in that hypothetical deal, the framework makes sense, given the Reds’ need for pitching.

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Tanner Roark has certainly had his ups and downs in a Washington Nationals uniform in his career. It could be the end of his time in D.C. if these trade talks continue to gather momentum at the Winter Meetings.

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