On Wednesday night, there were reports that the Washington Nationals were showing interest in a couple of sought-after starters.
The Nationals, “... have shown interest in Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray,” MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported, noting that concerns about Stephen Strasburg’s health might be motivating Washington.
Strasburg was placed on the DL on Thursday, retroactive to July 24th, with what the Nationals described as a right elbow nerve impingement, though Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker said they didn’t anticipate the right-hander missing more than one turn in the rotation.
When Baker spoke to reporters before the finale with the Milwaukee Brewers he said the results of Strasburg’s throwing sessions could alter their plans.
“As of right now, we’re skipping him a start,” Baker told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“But if he doesn’t come out of the bullpen session like we want him to and he wants to, then we’ve got to take an alternative plan.”
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote on Twitter Wednesday night that he’d heard the same as Morosi, that the Nationals were in on Gray, suggesting that any potential deal might hinge on Washington’s willingness to include top outfield prospect Victor Robles in a trade.
Many with #Nationals rank Soto ahead of Robles. Soto not CFer, but Taylor emerging, Eaton under control through ’21. Might WAS budge? 2/2— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2017
On Thursday morning, however, Rosenthal issued a retraction/correction on his previous reports:
Correction: #Nationals NOT pursuing a starter at level of Gray or Darvish, sources say. Might pursue another reliever, waiting on Kelley.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2017
I misinterpreted information that I received last night and that is why I reported Nationals were on Gray. Apologize for mistaken report.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2017
ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick listed the Nationals as one of several teams that remain in the mix for Detroit Tigers’ lefty Justin Wilson on Thursday:
Morosi followed up with a report late Thursday night which said that the Nats scouted St. Louis Cardinals’ reliever Trevor Rosenthal:
Rizzo told reporters earlier this week, as quoted by MASN’s Zuckerman, he thought the Nats could get by with the outfielders they have available as they wait for Jayson Werth and Michael A. Taylor to return.
“I think we have confidence in the guys we have, and as long as the core of our lineup is healthy and hitting on all cylinders, I think we can make it through until Jayson and Michael get better.”
Pham, 30, has a .311/.398/.529 line on the season, with 12 doubles and 14 home runs in 299 plate appearances. He’s under team control through 2022.
Rosenthal, 27, has dealt with a variety of injury issues (lat, back, arm soreness), but has saved four game this season, while putting up a 3.69 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 17 walks (3.92 BB/9), and 60 Ks (13.85 K/9) in 39 innings.
He’s under contract for $6.4M this season, and under team control through 2018.
Will Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office add to the bullpen? The rotation? Will they add outfield depth before the non-waiver trade deadline? It won’t be long now until we find out...