Latest Nationals Rumors: Could a Jo Adell Trade Happen?

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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This is a time where you have to take a rumor with a large, large grain of salt, but if this rumor is in fact true, it would be oh so sweet.

According to the site BaseballRumors.me, the Nationals have had discussions with the Los Angeles Angels regarding outfielder Jo Adell. The page goes on to site the Angels' outfield depth as a potential reason the Angels could be shopping the soon-to-be 24 year old player.

The Angels are undoubtedly in "win now" mode as they try to maximize the expiring duo of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, who is in a contract year and may get the first ever $500 Million dollar contract when he hits free agency. Due to this fact, the Angels might be looking to trade from an area of depth in order to get help elsewhere, making Adell potentially expendable.

Jo Adell
Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Entering the 2020 season, Jo Adell was ranked #6 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects. He would make his MLB debut later that season, hitting a putrid .161 with a .478 OPS in 38 games. His 2021 performance was better, but not up to expectations as he had a .246 batting average with a .703 OPS in 35 games. He managed to stick up with the big league club a little longer in 2022, playing in 88 games, but still wasn't performing up to the hype as Adell had a .224/.264/.373 slashline.

As Nationals fans may know, it is incredibly difficult to accurately evaluate a prospects development recently, as the 2020 COVID season and cancelled Minor League Season have really skewed progress and statistics. Some attribute slow development or regression to the lack of consistency, which is a very possible explanation.

For the Nationals, it is absolutely worth the chance. Jo Adell was scouted as having legitimate 5 tool player potential, with his 70 grade Power being the best of the bunch, per Baseball Prospectus. Now of course Adell hasn't quite tapped into that power potential at the major league level, but as I wrote earlier this week, the Nationals could use a high upside power bat on this roster.

Jo Adell
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages

The Nationals do have outfield depth themselves, but they don't have anyone like a Mike Trout or a Juan Soto anymore that is a everyday, foundational player in the outfield. Guys like Lane Thomas, Corey Dickerson and Alex Call are fine for now, but aren't really a part of the Nationals' future plans. And the players that are in the Nationals' future plans, like Robert Hassell III, James Wood and Elijah Green are at least one to two seasons away from reaching the majors, if not more in the cases of Wood and Green. Adell would easily be the outfielder with the most upside on the team and possibly have the most upside of any position player for the Nationals.

Now what would it take for the Nationals to swing a trade for Jo Adell? The name I've seen thrown around on Twitter is Kyle Finnegan. The Nationals do surprisingly have some decent bullpen depth and could afford to trade a player like Finnegan, who has some closer experience but the Nationals tend to opt to go closer-by-committee and won't likely have many save situations in 2023 anyways. Finnegan is already 31 years old but still has 3 years of team control before he hits free agency, which may be appealing to the Angels. It likely wouldn't be a one-for-one trade, but the two teams could build around those players. We would also happily take Anthony Rendon back as well.

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