Jeimer Candelario is Traded, but Otherwise the Nationals Stand Pat
Mike Rizzo and company deserve a lot of credit for turning around the farm system in the past couple seasons. Yes, it has been absolutely brutal to see some of our favorite players leave town in an unceremonious fashion, but the returns have been generally positive and we are in a much better spot as a team than we would have been had those trades not happened.
That being said, Mike Rizzo has had a history of underwhelming deadlines and the Nationals no longer have that coveted asset like they did previously with Scherzer, Turner and Soto. They still have some assets, but none that will break the bank in terms of a return haul like when they got Gray and Ruiz or Gore, Abrams, Wood, etc.
Now of course that history by Rizzo is primarily on the buying side of the deadline, but if you go back to 2018, the Nationals were a .500 team and clearly not playoff bound by the way they were playing. Rather than maximizing returns and selling at the deadline, Rizzo opted to wait until the now extinct waiver deadline to trade players like Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams and ultimately received nothing of value for them. They might not have generated a huge return, but Rizzo essentially gave them away by waiting too long.
That was five years ago now and hopefully Rizzo has learned his lesson, as he has been a much more active seller than he was a deadline buyer. But does that mean he will move a player like Lane Thomas, who is clearly having an outlier season and overperforming? My gut says no. Instead, Rizzo will look to move the expiring contracts, and the only one who is really worth anything to contending clubs is Jeimer Candelario.