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MLB Trade Rumors: Why the Nationals Must Trade for Huston Street

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 09:  National League All-Star Huston Street #16 of the San Diego Padres looks on during the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Kauffman Stadium on July 9, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Baily DeeterSenior Writer IIIJuly 13, 2012

The Nationals are a very well-rounded team, and some could argue that they don't need to make a single trade. 

However, the Nationals would definitely benefit from making some trades. They don't have a proven, experienced closer, even though they have Drew Storen returning from the DL and a great bullpen. They would definitely benefit from adding a great closer.

Huston Street has been absolutely dominant for the San Diego Padres this year. He is 13-for-13 on save opportunities, he has a 1.13 ERA and he has struck out 32 batters in just 24 innings pitched. Oh, and Street hasn't allowed a home run this year. Not too shabby.

Street has been to the postseason twice, so he knows what it's like, even if he didn't do too well. The Nationals are very young and inexperienced, especially in the bullpen. Adding a proven closer like Street and using Storen, Tyler Clippard and some other guys to hold down the fort in the seventh and eighth innings would really help them.

San Diego is out of the playoff race, so they will be looking to rebuild. If the Nationals, who have a very deep farm system, are willing to give up two or three prospects for Street, the Padres would probably do the deal.

Against Colorado on Sunday, Sean Burnett blew a two-run lead and Tyler Clippard allowed the game-winning run on a wild pitch. It's rare for the bullpen to blow leads, but that's exactly what Burnett did. Even though the bullpen has been great, there are a lot of inexperienced pitchers there. The collapse could be a sign of things to come in the second half.

If the bullpen does struggle to start the second half, the Nats should call the Padres and see if Street is available. They would still have lots of depth with Burnett, Clippard, Storen, Craig Stammen, Ryan Matheus and Mike Gonzalez, and they would have a shutdown closer with Street.

Just about all of the recent champions have had a good closer. Jason Motte wasn't great last year, but he did the trick in the playoffs. Brian Wilson, Mariano Rivera, Brad Lidge, Jonathan Papelbon, Adam Wainwright and Bobby Jenks were all great closers, and they were key to their team's World Series victory.

Washington is a very well-rounded team, and they could probably get by without Street. However, having a guy who is almost guaranteed to shut down the opposition in the ninth inning will help, and Street is that guy. The Nationals would really benefit from adding depth to their bullpen, and that's something Street would do.

If the Nats bring in Street, they will be even better. It will take a few prospects, but it would definitely be worth it to increase the Nationals' chances of winning a title. 

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