So it's late June and now that I've learned how to circumvent that pesky little firewall that allows me to post on FB during working hours, my conversion to bona-fide Nats fan would be remiss if we didn't begin the trade season with a little rosterbation. (Trust me it won't make you go blind.) I know some might be questioning the validity of the Nats playoff aspirations, but the Nats aren't just shooting for the playoffs, they need to shed their Rodney Dangerfield-esque reputation and get a little respect. Even if they finish a few games out of the Wild Card, a winning season will set them up nicely to make a run at it next year, increase excitement--and of course revenue--for the team and most importantly allow them to pursue top-line free agents.
While the Jayson Werth deal looks even worse just a couple of months in to the contract, I still think it's something that needed to be done to keep the Nats out of becoming a Pittsburgh-esque team. It's not that Pittsburgh is the only bad team in baseball, but they've been bad for so long that free agents require substantially more money to play there and some won't go at all. It's not just that they're bad, but they are at perceived as not being committed toward winning.
As I see it, the versatility of players like Werth and Morse give Rizzo lots of options with regards to what he can add from a positional player standpoint because Werth can play a passable CF and Morse can shift back to the outfield. In order to add another bat, Rizzo can look for anyone who can play any of the three OF positions and/or 1B.
With that in mind, I think the best option from a position player standpoint is Carlos Beltran. Sure Beltran makes way too much money and sure he gets hurt a lot, but when he's on he is the impact bat that Werth was supposed to be, not to mention his stats have been suppressed in the cavernous confines of Citi Field. This year Beltran is sporting a very healthy .373 wOBA and a 138 wRC+, both good enough for a 2.4 fWAR thus far. The other thing is that Beltran, like Werth can play all three outfield positions, although I'm not too sure I would want him out there everyday in CF. As mentioned previously, he's expensive and gets hurt too much, but both risks are greatly diminished over the course of half a season.
The Nats Lineup would then look something like this (not completely sold on this order though):
Some other possible options include Derek Lee, David Wright (not sure where he'd play), Vlad Guerrero (Do not want) and anyone on the Pirates, Astros, Padres, Twins, Marlins, Seattle and Toronto who may become available. Although, it looks to be a pretty thin year for offensive players available.
From a pitching standpoint, I just don't see the type of starter available that could really help the Nats unless King Felix becomes available. If that is the case, Rizzo should sell the farm to acquire him if some type of extension can be worked out. The other guy who could possibly be available is Ryan Vogelsong and/or Jonathan Sanchez. The Giants have too many starters and can't deal Zito. Given their need for a new catcher if Rizzo could somehow parlay Pudge or Flores for Vogelsong, I think it would be an absolute steal, Sanchez would most likely require a few prospects in addition to a catcher, and while he's maddening to watch, he also had the lowest BAA last year in the entire MLB and is capable of throwing a no-hitter everytime out. To put it a bit more bluntly, if he's your #4 or #5 starter you're in good shape, anything more is a bit of a stretch.
So who'd I forgot and/or who would you like to see the Nats make a deal for? Or should they make a deal at all?
Talk amongst yourselves...
How could I forget BJ Upton? Apparently, the Nationals are still trying to acquire Upton and are willing to move Tyler Clippard. Personally, I would prefer that the move prospects prior to moving Clippard, but I don't necessarily think it's a bad deal. Upton has tons of upside, but his production hasn't been much better--if at all--than Roger Bernadina's.