With 24 hours to go before tomorrow’s 4:00 PM EDT non-waiver trade deadline, the majority of the reports out there have the Washington Nationals resisting the urge to wave the white flag on the 2018 campaign. Davey Martinez wrapped up the Nats’ road trip to Milwaukee & Miami with a declaration that no one in the nation’s capital is giving up hope on this season.
“We’re going to keep pushing, we’re going to keep going,” Martinez said.
“Not by any means are we giving up. We’re not done yet, I know they’re not up there, I know [GM Mike] Rizzo is not that guy, I know the front office ain’t those people, so we’ve just got to keep pushing.”
Meanwhile, however, Yahoo!Sports.com’s Jeff Passan reported this afternoon that all is not copacetic in the Nationals’ clubhouse.
“The clubhouse is a mess,” a source told the reporter, corroborating what, “... three others who spoke to Yahoo Sports on the condition of anonymity out of fear [that] the organization would punish them for speaking publicly,” told him about the dynamics behind the scenes in D.C.
It’s not just the on-field issues causing acrimony, Passan notes, writing that Davey Martinez has built relationships with some players, like Bryce Harper, while, “a number of players feel marginalized,” and Harper’s comments about J.T. Realmuto this weekend apparently didn’t go over well, as a, “... number of people inside the organization saw Harper’s comment as unprofessional and potentially divisive among his teammates, according to sources.”
In spite of that drama, and the fact that Harper, according to Passan’s sources, “wondered whether he would be among those leaving,” and asked, “... friends and confidants whether they thought the Nationals might trade him,” the Yahoo!Sports’ writer adds that the Nats, “... have shown no indications that they might consider dealing him, no matter how prudent a move it would be.”
Check out that whole story, it’s well worth a read:
"The clubhouse is a mess."— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2018
One day from the trade deadline, the Washington Nationals are under .500 and considering selling. How did arguably the most talented team in the NL turn into this? Sources outline the Nationals' mess of a season in 10 Degrees: https://t.co/817PsWn3du
FanCred’s Jon Heyman too, wrote today that, “Rivals believe there’s almost no chance Nats will market/trade Bryce Harper in 28-hour window that exists.”
Rivals believe there’s almost no chance nats will market/trade Bryce Harper in 28-hour window that exists. 1. They want to sign him long-term. 2. They are within striking distance of 2 young teams. 3. They have team mostly back together (except Strasburg).— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 30, 2018
The Nationals may, however, Heyman writes, explore trading some of the soon-to-be-free agent relievers on the roster like Ryan Madson, Shawn Kelley, Kelvin Herrera, or Brandon Kintzler (who signed a 2-year/$10M deal with the Nats last winter, which includes a $10M club option or $5M player option for 2019, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts):
Other teams expect #nats to investigate possible sale of Kelley, Madson, Herrera, Kintzler. But ultimately, since Herrera may be the only one of the group with significant trade value, and getting below luxury tax threshold isn’t a great goal, they may still sell no one.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 30, 2018
As for the Nationals’ top prospects?
We collected the rumors about the Nationals potentially including Victor Robles in a deal for Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto this morning. MLB Network Radio’s analysts Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin argued against trading the outfielder:
"Keep Robles out of it."@Mike_Ferrin and @Jim_Duquette break down why trading Victor Robles to the #Marlins for JT Realmuto would be a bad, bad move for the #Nationals. #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/tgsL6NjOZp— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) July 30, 2018
USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale is among those who’s hearing that the Nationals won’t do that much before tomorrow, though, as Rizzo’s noted over the years, deals can be made after tomorrow’s deadline:
Several rival executives believe that the #Nats will stay pat for now, not ready to surrender, but if their fate doesn’t improve, will try to slip players through waivers in August for trades— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 30, 2018
3. #Nationals know they are underachieving and may have culture issues, but they don't want to blow it up, not with inexperienced #Braves #Phillies ahead of them in the NL East.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 30, 2018
What do you expect Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office to do over the next 24 hours? Will they try to get Wilson Ramos (in spite of his hamstring injury)? Any chance they can pull off a trade that includes Chris Archer as well (in the hope that a move to the NL in a rotation with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg would bring about a change for the right-hander?) Will Rizzo zig when everyone else thinks he’s going to zag and pull off something that no one sees coming?