The 3 Most Likely Nationals Trade Chips

With the Nats currently mired in their first rough patch of the season, I decided to figure out the 3 most likely pieces for the Nationals to offload at the Trade Deadline in just a few short months from now. Additionally, I identified some other Nats that could also have new homes later this summer.
Eddie Rosario could be a valuable piece for a contender.
Eddie Rosario could be a valuable piece for a contender. / G Fiume/GettyImages

Although it was fun to watch the 2024 Washington Nationals compete for a bit, the team has come back down to earth a bit over the last couple weeks, winning just 2 of their last 9 games entering Sunday's game against the Phillies. The recent uninspiring play of this team has led me to begin to wonder what this team is going to look like in just a few short months, as the Nats should be sellers again this year.

There are many players on this team who likely don't factor into the long-term future of this team, and there is a chance that this current lineup looks vastly different than the one we see right now. With prospects like James Wood knocking on the door and likely earning at least a look later on this year, the time is now for the Nats to look to get some pieces for the future, before looking to contend next year and beyond.

In this article, I identify the 3 Nats players who are most likely to be dealt, as well as some honorable mentions who could also be dealt as well.

Honorable Mentions: Dylan Floro, Derek Law, Joey Gallo, Jesse Winker, Riley Adams

Dylan Floro
Dylan Floro is a guy I would expect to be traded, but won't be the hottest commodity in the Nats bullpen. / G Fiume/GettyImages

The honorable mentions of this article are all very possible to have new teams by the end of July. All of these players except for Adams are on 1-year deals, and will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

Dylan Floro has been great this year working in a setup role out of the bullpen for the Nats, pitching to a 0.41 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, only allowing 1 earned run in 22.0 innings of work. With some past closing experience and ability to work higher leverage situations, Floro should definitely garner some interest at the deadline.

Derek Law is another bullpen arm that should have some value in the trade market, as he has been solid for the Nats, with a 3.08 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 23 appearances so far. While not offering much value as a closer, pitching wins in October, and he's a guy who can make a bullpen better.

The cases for Joey Gallo and Jesse Winker are complicated, as both of the veteran lefties offer solid on-base abilities due to their walks, but the hitting is inconsistent. Winker was arguably the best hitter on the team after the Marlins series just a few weeks ago, but has since battled injuries and ineffectiveness since then. He sports a .223/.343/.367 line with a .710 OPS and 4 homers so far. Gallo, a true 3-outcome player (XBH, BB, K), is a frustrating name to watch, as his 48% K rate through just 24 games played is atrocious. He's provided solid defense primarily at first base, and both of these players could offer value to a contender as a depth outfield piece with the ability to get on base.

Riley Adams is the only name in this article that I would consider potentially not at immediate risk of being traded, but it wouldn't be surprising. Although he performed solidly when Keibert Ruiz went down, he could get squeezed out of the organization as a result of the solid play of Drew Millas down in AAA. Millas is the best defensive catcher out of the 3 catchers the Nats have used this year, and there's a very real argument to be made that his best value would be by being in a tandem with Ruiz.

One name I did not include was outfielder Lane Thomas, but should he return from injury and recapture some of the form he showed last year, he could be another piece to keep an eye on.

1. Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams
Trevor Williams could potentially be the most valuable trade chip the Nats have. / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Trevor Williams was downright abysmal, with a pitching line including a 6-10 record, 5.55 ERA, and 1.60 WHIP. In fact, there were some (myself included) that seriously questioned whether or not he should be a member of the Opening Day rotation over some other guys like Jackson Rutledge.

However, Williams has been a different pitcher this year. With a 4-0 record, 1.94 ERA, and 1.06 WHIP, he has been arguably the best starting pitcher on the roster so far, and didn't surrender his first homer until his last time out against the Chicago White Sox.

The key to his success? Keeping his pitch count around 80, often times resulting in him being pulled before facing a lineup for the third time around. This blueprint has worked for him and the Nats so far this year, and although his inability to pitch effectively deep into games could limit his value, his expiring deal makes him the most likely piece to be moved should he continue to pitch like he has thus far.

2. Eddie Rosario

Eddie Rosario
Eddie Rosario should net a solid return. / G Fiume/GettyImages

A notorious slow-starter, Eddie Rosario was a candidate to be designated for assignment not even 3 weeks ago. Fast forward a few weeks, and Rosario is the reigning NL Player of the Week, and has a batting line that is trending upwards in a big way.

Although he has a batting line overall of .179/.248/.368 with a .616 OPS, since the calendar turned to May, he has a phenomenal slash line of .342/.432/.737 for a 1.169 OPS, and has hit 4 of his 5 homers this season in the month of May.

If Rosario keeps this up, his postseason track record will help his value as well, as he won NLCS MVP in 2021, and has a knack for clutch hitting. In my opinion, Rosario will net the best return of any position player on the roster currently.

3. Kyle Finnegan

Kyle Finnegan
Could Kyle Finnegan have a new home in a couple months? / G Fiume/GettyImages

Kyle Finnegan will likely be the most sought after reliever on the Nationals, as he has really taken a big step this year and has been one of the best closers in the league. Before the series against the Phillies, Finnegan was tied for the league-lead in saves with 13, and accompanied it with a 1.56 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He did not allow an earned run since March 31st against the Cincinnati Reds, and had a streak of 34 batters faced without allowing a hit. Pretty dang good.

Finnegan will not be an unrestricted free agent until 2026, which does give the Nats some leverage in terms of the package that they demand for his services. He surely will be one of the most valuable relievers on the trade market, along with Mason Miller of the Oakland Athletics, and the Nats would be smart to move Finnegan now while his value will seemingly never be higher. This move would sting, but ultimately would pave the way for Hunter Harvey to get a look as the potential closer of the future.

Who do you think will be traded from this roster by the end of the Trade Deadline? Do you think there is anyone I named that shouldn't be traded? As always, please let me know your thoughts by finding me on X @DCBerk.

All stats in this article were provided by Baseball Reference.