These three Nationals players are the most likely to be dealt at the MLB trade deadline

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

The Nationals have been one of the most active sellers in the past two MLB trade deadline. With less than two weeks until the 2023 deadline, which is on August 1st at 6:00 PM ET, I will focus on the players that seem like the most likely to be traded before then, according to Mike Rizzo's recent philosophy.

Based on Rizzo's moves and press conferences statements, what I understand is that it will be easier for him to trade guys that are on expiring contracts. The players with one more year of control or more are complex because it could be difficult to find a team that values one of those players the same way Rizzo values them, especially one like Lane Thomas, who is having a career year. It doesn't rule out that they could be moved, it just means that it isn't as likely as those who will be free agents at the end of the season.

Based on my experience covering the Nationals since 2019, these are the players I consider are the most likely to be traded within the next 12 days:

Jeimer Candelario

Jeimer Candelario
Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

He is the most reasonable player, isn't he?

Even thought I wrote in my previous article that I don't agree with that move, I get the way Mike Rizzo is trying to rebuild this team and having a career year on an one year, five million dollar deal makes it easy to name him the most desirable player from the Nats in the midsummer market.

Candelario leads the National League in fWAR for Third Basemen, primarily due to this excellent defense this season but is also on pace to set a new career high in home runs. He hit his 15th of the season last night while his previous career high was 19 back in 2018 with the Tigers.

Possible destination: Miami Marlins, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers.

Carl Edwards Jr.

Carl Edwards Jr.
Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

This one is health permitting as he has been on the 15-day injured list since June 24 due to a right shoulder inflammation. However, it would be ideal if he returns in the next few days to showcase himself prior to the deadline. However, he's having a good season in terms of what he is able to control. His 3.90 FIP, 29% hard hit rate and 86.3 MPH exit velocity are his best marks since 2018.

His ability to avoid barrels is a resource a contender can use. Edwards Jr is on a one year, 2.25 million dollar contract, so a team would be paying around $750,000 for his services until the end of the season. A bargain deal on an arm that could go a long way in shoring up the backend of a bullpen for most contenders.

Possible destination: Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds.

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith
Washington Nationals v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages

Being a 1B with poor power numbers could be difficult to sell, but being in the 85th percentile for Outs Above Average and K% is an attractive value for a team looking for some depth in the 1B and corner OF. Plus, he has been better overall offensively as of late, with a 94 OPS+. His .314 xwOBA is league average.

Dominic Smith is playing his best baseball in July, with an .812 OPS in 14 games, two homers and four doubles. This hot streak couldn't arrive in better time. He is earning just 2 million this season and could be a possible bench bat for a contender looking for a left-handed option and depth at first base.

Possible destination: Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros.