3 Nationals Players That Are GONE and 2 That Are SAFE
By Andrew Potts
Here we sit 37 games into the 2023 season. At this point, it's beginning to become clear some of the trends that will define the seasons of certain players. And from these trends, we can start to make educated (kinda) guesses about players that might be calling a new city home after the trade deadline.
The 2023 MLB trade deadline is August 1st, 82 days away, which somehow makes it seem near yet far at the same time. With that said, let's take a look at who may be packing up their locker sooner rather than later, and who might just be safe.
1. Chad Kuhl - GONE
Purely from a numbers standpoint, Kuhl just hasn't done well enough for the Nationals this season. A 9.41 ERA is just abhorrent, and a WHIP of almost 2.00 doesn't really help. For a team that's got some young (and very promising) pitchers coming up soon, if not already, I don't think Kuhl is donning the Curly W past the trade deadline.
With the emergence of Jake Irvin and his fantastic two starts, I can certainly see a scenario where his development becomes a priority, and he finds himself in the permanent rotation sooner rather than later. Yes, Kuhl has been forced to miss time; however Gore and Gray aren't going anywhere, and Williams and Corbin have been.... fine.
2. Jeimer Candelario - SAFE
For the safe players, I'm trying to not be too obvious. That's why CJ Abrams, Mackenzie Gore, and Josiah Gray, among others; aren't here. I think we can all agree that there are plenty of young players that the Nationals are not entertaining in trade talks.
Jeimer Candelario is someone that I believe that Nationals will hold on to. He's only on a one-year deal so I don't think that anyone will be pining for him and it is not as if the Nationals would be trying to sell off the contract. Those would be questions we'd be asking if Jeimer was playing as some had expected him to, similar to his past production in Detroit.
However, Candelario has been very productive over at third base, particularly defensively, and I believe that it is in the best interest of both himself and the Nationals to resign this summer and continue to develop him until someone from the minors is ready to take over.
3. Corey Dickerson - GONE
It's gotten to the point for me where I completely forgot that Corey Dickerson is on the roster. He's played in a whopping 2 games for the Nationals, and is still on the 10-day DL over a month after being put there.
The Nationals brought in Dickerson for two reasons: to be a lefty bat, and to act as outfield depth. The Nationals have gotten plenty of production out of their lefties, and Stone Garrett has stepped up in the outfield to the point where Dickerson may be on the outside looking in when he returns from injury. I believe there's a good chance he gets moved by the deadline.
4. Victor Robles- SAFE
I seem to remember some discourse early on in the season about Victor Robles. There was a crowd that wanted him to stay, and a crowd that wanted him to be traded. I think now it's safe to say that Victor Robles will NOT be moved.
His batting average and OBS this year are career highs, and has shown a lot better plate discipline, with only 14 strikeouts so far this year, averaging about to less than one in every other game. His veteran presence and production alone are certainly enough of an argument that leads me to believe that Victor Robles is here to stay.
5. Andres Machado - GONE
Probably a little bit of a stretch here, but hear me out. The Nationals are in a place now where they are watching players and judging them carefully to see if they have a future with the team. The guys that aren't really playing probably don't have much to look forward to in DC.
Andres Machado is one of those guys, having only appeared in 4 games and totaling a 5.04 ERA. The same argument that can be used for Machado can also be used with other players. If they aren't playing, I firmly believe the Nationals should do one of two things: 1) play them; or 2) trade them. You might as well use the roster spots to look at players who can contribute. If they aren't, you move on.
All statistics via MLB.com and baseball-reference.com.