In reporting on the Washington Nationals' continued interest in hard-throwing, left-handed New York Yankees' closer Aroldis Chapman, MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote on Friday that the "Nats and Yankees continue to talk about pulling off a possible deal," but, he added, according to a source, "Washington is not willing to give up top prospects such as Trea Turner, Lucas Giolito or Reynaldo Lopez to [get] Chapman," who is due to become a free agent this winter, and is therefore, a two-month rental, who would bring no draft pick compensation if he was acquired in-season.
Noting that, as others have reported, the Yankees have had scouts watching the Nationals' minor league affiliates and visiting D.C. recently, Ladson's source mentioned Nats' outfielder Michael A. Taylor as a person of interest should any such deal transpire.
Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga too wrote, on Twitter in his case, about the Nationals' rumored interest in Chapman, noting that he too heard that Washington was unwilling to part with their top-tier prospects:
Best Nats trade info: They want in on Chapman. Others very interested. Won't give up Giolito, Turner, Robles, Lopez.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) July 22, 2016
As pointed out earlier, still lots of depth to deal from -- Fedde, Voth, Taylor, Treinen, Difo, Rivero, etc. Cost on Miller w 2 yrs is high.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) July 22, 2016
The first name on Svrluga's depth chart there, also came up in FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's latest "Full Count" video report this afternoon:
"The Nationals reportedly are unwilling to trade any of their top four prospects to land Aroldis Chapman as a rental, so here's a name to keep in mind if those talks heat up: Erick Fedde.
Who, you might ask, is Erick Fedde?
Well, the Nationals made him the 18th overall pick of the 2014 Draft, one month after he underwent Tommy John surgery, and he's currently on a role at High-A with a 0.69 ERA in his last eight starts. Getting him would be a coup for the Yankees, who covet young starters."
Fedde, 23, who was believed by both Nats' GM Mike Rizzo and Assistant GM Kris Kline to be a potential Top 10 pick before he injured his elbow is his junior year at UNLV, is (5-3) in his second professional season, with a 3.45 ERA, a 3.64 FIP, 17 walks (2.10 BB/9) and 71 Ks (8.75 K/9) in 15 games (14 starts) and 73 IP for the Potomac Nationals this season.
Would a package of a major league-ready outfielder like Michael A. Taylor and a pitcher like Fedde be enough for the Nationals to get Chapman?
According to another report today, he's not the only target the Nationals have checked in on recently.
FanRag's Jon Heyman wrote this afternoon that the Nationals and a few other teams checked in on Kansas City Royals' closer Wade Davis, "... and they have found the asking price to be higher than the price put on Yankees star closer Aroldis Chapman."
Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals' front office are apparently doing their due diligence as they consider their options for an upgrade in the bullpen. There have been rumors of their interest in adding a bat to the lineup as well.
With the August 1st non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching, the chatter is only going to increase...