With the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline less than a week away, we preview what moves we may see the Washington Nationals make or not make.
1. Who would be your top two targets at the trade deadline?
Ross– Any left-handed reliever, so my top targets are Will Smith (SFG) and Jake Diekman (KCR). With the Giants finding themselves back in contention, and with the Royals confirmed as sellers, I think aiming for Diekman is a good strategy.
Tom– Ken Giles and Shane Greene. The Nats need a dominant right-handed reliever to pair with Sean Doolittle late in games. Tanner Rainey has shown flashes, but is not quite there yet on a consistent basis as he continues working on his control. Even though Giles struggled in the 2017 postseason with the Astros, there aren’t many dominant relievers out there who recently pitched in a World Series, which makes him my top target. He’s clearly figured some things out since then in Toronto, which makes him an ideal acquisition for the Nationals. Teams like the Braves and Phillies would fear Giles coming out of our bullpen.
Monty– Like most other teams hoping for the playoffs, the Nationals desperately need to add to their bullpen. Most of the season has seen the Nationals post the worst bullpen ERA in the majors. The lineup is solid, and the starting pitching is a strength, even with a mediocre fifth starter. GM Mike Rizzo should look for two arms with recent and successful late-inning experience, one left-handed and one right-handed. Even with limited prospects, the Nationals should try to acquire at least one of Alex Colome from the Chicago White Sox or Will Smith from the San Francisco Giants.
Danny– Best case scenario would be the Nationals end up with Will Smith and Alex Colome. Buster Olney reported that the Nationals are focusing on adding two relievers, with a priority on left-handed relievers, so Smith makes sense. Although he’s not controllable after this season, he’s the cream of the crop when it comes to left-handed relievers. Colome, on the other hand, has put together a nice season in Chicago carrying a 2.33 ERA and 21 saves. Colome, unlike Smith, would be under team control next season. The best part about both of these guys is that they have closer experience. So if something unfortunately happens to Sean Doolittle, the Nationals would have a guy who could step right in. A 7th, 8th, and 9th of Colome, Smith and Doolittle would likely be the best back end of the bullpen that the Nationals have had.
Matt– My top targets would be Will Smith and Sam Dyson from the San Francisco Giants. I think getting these two in a package would be a great deal. You instantly solve your left-handed reliever problem with Smith, and Dyson gives you an extra back-end of the bullpen guy to use in big situations.