Washington Nationals 2013 Trade Deadline Shopping List
The Washington Nationals are in a difficult position as the major league baseball season nears the midway point, followed shortly after that by the trade deadline.
With the dominance of the National League Central, it appears that it is going to be difficult for the Nationals to rely on a wild-card berth. This means that the Nationals need to pull out all of the stops if they want to leap-frog the Atlanta Braves in the NL East this season.
The Nationals are in a difficult spot because they appear to have a lineup that is set up for success, barring injury.
Let's take a look at a few of the most important areas that should be addressed as the trade deadline draws near. Here are a couple of names that should be on the Nats' radar.
A Lefty out of the 'Pen
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Sometimes in sports, there will be a team that gives a guy a chance when all hope is lost.
The Seattle Mariners did that with Oliver Perez and he has rewarded them with two seasons of success coming out of the bullpen. The Washington Nationals, and most teams for that matter, could use a lefty out of their bullpen as well to handle left-handed batters late in ballgames.
Perez would give the Nats some southpaw depth to go along with the big- name right-handers that they already boast.
Perez currently has a 0.98 ERA over 27.2 innings with 38 strikeouts for the Mariners after having signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter with Seattle.
A Big Bat: Alex Rios
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There are a number of hitters that Washington could look to acquire at the deadline and one of the top names on the list should be Alex Rios.
Rios is on a struggling Chicago White Sox team and is only under contact for one more season with a club option for 2015.
Rios has played right field primarily in 2013 for the White Sox, but has played all three outfield positions in the past. Rios is an interesting option based on the injuries that have plagued the Nationals this season, especially in the outfield.
Denard Span has not played out as well as they would have liked and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth have battled injury for a major part of the season.
Rios might be an expensive insurance policy, but he might be a player that can get the job done when called upon.
A Familiar Face: Michael Morse
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Would it be completely crazy for the Nationals to trade for Michael Morse, the slugger they parted ways with in the offseason?
He is owed nearly half of what Alex Rios is owed at only $6.75 million, and the Nationals could use him either in the outfield or at first base. Having shown already that he can produce in D.C., Morse might be a great option to return to the Nats.
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Not only do the Nats' need help on offense overall, they specifically need help with their production as it relates to driving in runners in scoring position.
Surprisingly, the Braves are near the bottom in the majors in this category. Despite Washington being 21 points higher than the Braves, it is an area that the Nationals can improve further upon to make up more ground on the Braves.
If they can trade for a clutch pinch hitter such as Jason Giambi, they could help their cause as they try to chase down Atlanta.
A Quality Starter: Ricky Nolasco
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Ricky Nolasco has $11.5 million owed to him in 2013, but is a proven pitcher in the NL East.
Nolasco has been pitching for the Marlins since 2006 and is almost certain to be dealt by the July trade deadline. The Nationals certainly could use someone to take Dan Haren's spot in the rotation, considering how abysmal he has been.
There is plenty of uncertainty around Haren, as he currently finds himself on the DL. Trading for Nolasco might get the Nats over that hump and past the Braves.