The Washington Nationals reportedly won't attempt to make a blockbuster deal for a top starting pitcher such as Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers or Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics before Monday's non-waiver MLB trade deadline.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports passed along the update Thursday and noted the Nats may still attempt to land another upgrade for their bullpen in the coming days.
Jon Morosi of the MLB Network previously reported the Nationals would consider making a run at a high-impact starting pitcher if Stephen Strasburg were to miss significant time with a forearm injury.
Although Washington did place him on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday, he's expected back in the rotation shortly, per Eddie Matz of ESPN.com.
"Backed up [Strasburg] just for precaution," manager Dusty Baker said. "He'll miss one turn."
That's apparently led the Nats' front office to shift its focus back to the available relievers after acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A's earlier in the month.
The numbers suggest that's the right move. Washington currently ranks third in starter ERA thanks to a rotation led by Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez. But the bullpen has been a different story, ranking 29th in MLB ahead of only the Detroit Tigers.
There isn't major urgency to make a move, though.
The Nationals currently lead the NL East by 12.5 games over the Atlanta Braves and should cruise into the postseason. So they could be a potential buyer down the stretch, when deals are still allowed as long as the players involved clear waivers.