The Nationals are back at .500. They won a game that was very depressing. Don’t trust it, and don’t read into it. Don’t read into anything. Only chaos can reign.
Here’s the news in Miami!
The Nationals must think about the unthinkable: Trading Bryce Harper (WaPo)
Barry Svrluga -- yeah, that one, the super logical Washington Post columnist, said that neither the Braves nor Phillies are unstoppable, but the Nationals certainly look quite stoppable, and it just doesn't look like they'll make the playoffs. So they should sell. And they have to think about Harper.
Untouchables and available players in NL East (MLB)
Harper, believe it or not, is listed as available, while Juan Soto is understandably listed as untouchable. (Though MLB doesn't think the Nats will trade Harper away unless they continue to lose ground on the Braves and Phillies.)
Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on disabled list (again) with pinched nerve (WaPo)
Strasburg played catch, as he normally would before a start, on Wednesday. But his neck hurt, and a test revealed a pinched nerve. Worse, Erick Fedde, who filled in for Strasburg the last time he went down, is still injured.
The next four games are critical as the Nationals decide whether to sell (The Athletic)
The precedent for teams around .500 is for them to sell, but Mike Rizzo said it would take an "extreme situation" to trigger a firesale. But things are getting extreme in Washington, and the Nats may want to dump some salary to rebuild for next year -- a move that may include parting with Bryce Harper, which some in the Nats organization think may not hurt the team (though others in the organization believe otherwise).
Strasburg to DL, Tommy Milone called up to start in Miami (MASN)
Jose Marmolejos was designated for assignment to make space for Milone.
Nationals still not sure if they will be sellers at trade deadline (NYPost)
Joel Sherman compared the 2018 Nats to the 2015 Tigers -- stuck in the middle, indecisive on whether to buy, sell, or stay put. The Tigers traded away almost all of their talent, and the Nats have plenty of players to trade away, and may be more inclined to do so after Strasburg went on the DL again.
Top baseball prospects 2018 midseason rankings (MLB)
After Juan Soto's brief stint at the top, Victor Robles has reclaimed his number one spot on the Nationals' top prospect list.
Anthony Rendon goes on paternity list (MLB)
Rendon and his wife, Amanda, have not specified the gender of their first child (who's coming very soon), but we're PUMPED.
Nationals place Anthony Rendon on paternity list, call up infielder Matt Reynolds (WaPo)
Reynolds had not been up to the majors since early April.
Nationals Preparing For Possibility Of Selling At Deadline (MLBTR)
"Passan suggests that the focus would likely be on rental relievers. Ryan Madson ($7.5MM salary), Kelvin Herrera ($7.9375MM), and Shawn Kelley ($5.5MM) are all potential chips who’d be of interest to other organizations, perhaps bringing back some prospects and trimming some salary obligations. But whether it makes sense to stop there would make for a tough question."
Stephen Strasburg's injury leaves Nationals scrambling at trade deadline (ESPN)
The Nationals could have told themselves that everything was going to be okay before this morning. Then Stephen Strasburg went down, and now, they have to ask themselves: can their rotation with a 5.99 ERA since June 10th justify buying at the deadline? ESPN's Eddie Matz argues that it probably doesn't, but the Braves and Phillies are too untested to let run on their own.