Nationals Trade Deadline Need #2: Another Productive Infield Bat
Washington’s offense has some key pieces in Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber, and Yan Gomes. But with Gomes and Schwarber sidelined with injuries, the offense has lacked the extra production.
Josh Harrison has been impressive this season, hitting .282 with an OPS of .757, but he’s been more of a table-setter. The swiss army knife has mainly manned second, but has also spent time in left and at the hot corner.
With the announcement that Starlin Castro would not be rejoining the team this year after he was placed on the restrictive list due to domestic violence, the Nats are now in need of a third baseman.
Despite not playing a game for the Nats since July 11, Castro is tied for second on the team in hits with 89. He lacked power, but his ability to get on base will be missed. However, Mike Rizzo and company made the right decision.
The Nationals are thin at depth and don’t have a reliable replacement for third. Josh Harrison has played third in the past, but the Nationals still need to make an acquisition. Former top prospects Luis Garcia and Carter Kieboom have impressed as of late in the minors, but there hasn’t been much movement on that front.
Recently, the Kansas City Royals have stated they are willing to take offers on Witt Merrifield. Merrifield has been one of the most productive second basemen since entering the league in 2016, but it would cost a pretty penny to acquire his services.
The same could be said for the Pittsburgh Pirate’s Adam Frazier. The Chicago Cubs are on the verge of a massive firesale and the face of the franchise Kris Bryant has been tied to the Nats in the past. Is this the time Rizzo finally pulls the trigger?
The Nationals farm system is going to hold them back from making a massive splash, but there are still some intriguing under-the-radar players available on the market.