According to reports from the nation’s capital today, Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told reporters he’s happy with the starting pitching in the organization now, so we should probably expect a deal for a starter before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, right? Stephen Strasburg threw a bullpen session today and came out fine, though how he responds in the coming days will be important.
While the rumors tying the Nats to the available starters out there have died down, there is plenty of chatter about their interest in adding relief help, and at least one report saying they’ll still consider deals for a starter...
FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported today that the Nationals, “... remain focused on the bullpen, specifically a trio of left-handers — Baltimore’s Zach Britton, Detroit’s Justin Wilson and San Diego’s Brad Hand — while also listening on rotation possibilities.”
While noting that the Nationals’, “main goal is to fortify their pen further,” even after the trade with the A’s for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, Heyman writes that, “... a season-ending injury for Joe Ross and a new concern for Stephen Strasburg has the Nats considering rotation options, if one comes their way.”
As for relievers, Heyman suggests that Britton, who has dealt with injury issues this season, “may be their top target,” while noting that while, “... there are increasing signs the Orioles may trade their star closer there remains considerable question whether they’d deal him to the rival Nats, with whom they’ve been embroiled in territorial disputes for years.”
Meanwhile... Shawn Kelley is scheduled to make rehab start for AAA Syracuse tonight, and Rizzo told reporters that Koda Glover is moving ahead with his throwing program in Florida, and could return to contribute at some point this season.
Will the Nationals gamble on Strasburg making it back and his relievers returning from injury to bolster the bullpen, or will Rizzo and Co. in the Nats’ front office pick up some insurance before the non-waiver deadline arrives?