MLB Rumors: 5 Nationals On The Trade Block

Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has made his trade deadline strategy quite clear. In an interview on 106.7 the Fan, Rizzo said of his flagging club: “I would assume that if we’re playing at the rate we’re playing, we’ll probably be careful sellers and make sure that we maximize the players at least with expiring contracts.”

Ah, expiring contracts. Yes, the Nationals do have a handful. Two of them should have significant interest on the trade market, while the others would be considered lower-end moves for a team in need. Let's go through the list. 

Josh Bell

The first baseman will be a  hot commodity, no doubt. The left-handed slugger currently has an .801 OPS with a .290 average, and has driven in 38 runs. He only has 7 home runs, but he did blast 27 last season, and 37 as recently as 2019—his All-Star season. As a left-handed hitter, he's been linked to the Toronto Blue Jays on more than one occasion this season.

Nelson Cruz

Soon turning 42, the 7-time All-Star can still potentially provide some serious pop in the middle of a lineup. He's picked things up big-time recently, with a .379 average and a 1.018 OPS over the past four weeks.

Infielder Cesar Hernandez and relievers Steve Cishek, Carl Edwards Jr. and Sean Doolittle make up the balance of the free-agents-to-be, though none of them would bring back a significant return. 

Two other higher-leverage relievers, closer Tanner Rainey and Kyle Finnegan are both under team control for a few more years, so the Nationals might not be as inclined to trade them. But they would quite likely bring back a nice trade package, as contending teams are always looking for bullpen help at the deadline.

Outfielder Victor Robles is another name to watch, though he still has a couple of years of control.

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