If the Washington Nationals continue to have a hard time gaining ground in the NL East, these five players could be on the move.
The Washington Nationals have won three in a row entering Monday, but they’re still 22-31 and nine games back in the National League East with a run differential (-30) to match that dismal record.
Quite frankly, and obviously minus Bryce Harper this year, the Nationals have underachieved for years as currently constructed. Injuries, general underachievement and a revolving door in the manager’s office have played equal roles in that, and general manager Mike Rizzo has to be on the hot seat himself.
If the Nationals can’t get back into the playoff race (7.5 games back of the NL Wild Card lead entering Monday’s action), ESPN’s Buster Olney has reported Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg could be on the trade block.
Giving up on the 2019 campaign as the calendar gets set to flip to June will be hard for any team to do, and the Nationals won’t be any different. But remaining effectively in neutral, with three teams to usurp in the division and a few more to surpass in the Wild Card race, puts the idea of being a trade deadline seller on the horizon in Washington.
If the Nationals do move into sell-mode, these five players could be on the move before the trade deadline.
5. 2B Brian Dozier
Dozier signed a one-year deal with the Nationals last offseason, and he’s hitting just .213/.307/.367 with seven home runs and 15 RBI entering Monday. He’s been only a little better through May (.721 OPS, four doubles, 9 RBI), but if a three-for-five outing on Sunday sparks on of his patented hot streaks from the past he’s going to become a prime trade candidate.
Washington has some options to replace Dozier (Carter Kieboom, Howie Kendrick, Wilmer Difo), so they are surely hoping he gets hot enough to get attention from other teams. But if he doesn’t get it going at the plate, even getting a low-level prospect might be worth it to offload whatever remains of his $9 million this year.