“That’s my understanding,” Martinez said.
“I just talked to [GM Mike] Rizzo about ten minutes ago and he said no deals were made. So, like I said before, our focus really is on the guys that we have.”
The lack of action, the third-year manager (whose team started the day on Monday 12-19 after 31 games in this 60-game campaign) said, came after the front office did their due diligence but didn’t find the right deal.
“Mike and his guys, they worked diligently and I trust their process of what they do to try to get us better. We’re staying put, and we’ve just got to go out there now and this is what we got, and play baseball. We’re getting close to September, let’s have a good month, finish up strong.”
“We don’t want to give up some of our younger prospects,” Martinez added, in explaining the inaction.
“We believe that these guys are a big part of our future here. We’ve got some pretty good ones.”
Asked if he thought that the players on the roster now would view the lack of additions as disappointing, Martinez said he thought the reaction would more likely be relief that none of the players were sent elsewhere.
“When you go through these trade deadlines a lot of guys start worrying about where they’re going to end up, especially this year in such a short season,” Martinez said.
“They don’t want to go anywhere. For the most part these guys love it here and they love playing with one another. I think it was more or less they didn’t know what was going to happen at the trade deadline so now that they know, hey, they’re here, they’re not going anywhere, they can ease their mind, and come out today hopefully and just have fun, and go play.”
But no disappointment?
“No. What I think these guys will do is say, ‘Hey, we started with all of us here, this is what we’ve got and we’ve just got to go out there and play better each and every day and try to get in these playoffs.”
“I don’t think any of us think we need somebody or something to help us get us going,” Trea Turner said after the Nationals’ 8-6 loss last night in Citizens Bank Park left them at 12-20 on the season.
“I think we got it right here. It’s just a matter of playing good baseball and getting on the right track, and getting on the winning side.
“I think it’s easier said than done but I think we’ve got the guys in the clubhouse to do it.”
Going into the series opener with the Philadelphia Phillies, the NL East’s last place Nationals had a 16% chance of making the postseason in Fangraphs’ calculations, and a 26% chance according to FiveThirtyEight.com’s predictions.
What does Martinez think the Nationals need to do to turn things around?
“Defensively we’ve got to get better. Obviously our pitching has got to be more consistent, but we’ve just got to play all-around better baseball. We’ve started to swing the bats, which is encouraging. We’re one or two hits away from busting games open, so we’ve just got to focus, when guys are on base, try to get that extra point or two on the board. So, but I like where our at bats have been going, like I said, the biggest thing is, whenever we score five runs or more, I feel really confident about us winning games, so we’ve got to get back to that.”
Martinez, who guided his club back from a 19-31 start last season, said that resiliency is part of the team’s DNA, though there are obvious changes to the roster and absences of players who opted out or are injured.
“This is a team that had adversity, they know about adversity. I told you guys before, these guys, they’re resilient, they don’t quit. I know that about them,” he said.
“They’re going to go out there today, they’re going to play hard, they’re going to give me everything they’ve got, and hopefully we come out on top. That’s just who they are. They don’t tend to watch anybody else.
“They focus on what we need to do, and I told them, before you know it you start making up games, and we catch up, and let’s just focus on us, that’s who we are, just worry about us, and the circle of trust here, and we’ll get through this together.”