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2013 Record: 34-34 (6.5 GB in NL East)
Key Free Agents: Fernando Abad, Haren, Chad Tracy
Who They Should Sell: Danny Espinosa
It's been nearly a month since the Nationals either won or lost more than two consecutive games, so it's tough to say what they're planning for the end of July.
Coming to you from the suburbs of the nation's capital, I'm admittedly not the world's most objective voice on the Nationals. In my opinion, though, there's nothing in particular that the Nationals need to do to contend this season other than get healthy.
When Ryan Zimmerman hit the DL on April 20, the Nationals were 10-7 which, way too early, projected for a 95 win season.
Right as Zimmerman was coming back, Jayson Werth headed to the sidelines for more than a month. While Werth was out, Bryce Harper and Espinosa played injured before ultimately going on the disabled list.
Wilson Ramos hasn't played since mid-May, and probably won't be back until mid-July.
And that's only starters in the everyday lineup.
As far as the pitching staff is concerned, Ross Detwiler missed a month, and Stephen Strasburg just returned from a two week hiatus. Ryan Mattheus broke a bone in his pitching hand in mid-May and won't be back any time soon.
It's one thing to use the trade market to try to recover from season-ending surgeries, but it's just been a steady flow of bruised joints and strained muscles for the Nationals. You don't want to go out and trade for a guy in July and then have no need for him in mid-August when someone else heals up.
While the team's record has been neither great nor awful in the past few weeks, Anthony Rendon has been out of this world. He has a triple slash of .444/.474/.694 in the month of June, while Espinosa is still recovering from a fractured wrist.
Coupled with the fact that Espinosa had the worst on-base percentage in all of baseball in the month of May, many are left wondering if and where Espinosa fits into the team's long-term plans?
Washington's best move would likely be to trade him for an injured or developing starting pitcher to potentially replace Haren in the 2014 rotation.