Washington Nationals: Playing Fact or Fiction with Latest Trade Chatter

Michael Nargi@NargOnSportsSenior Analyst IJuly 24, 2013

Washington Nationals: Playing Fact or Fiction with Latest Trade Chatter

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    We're in the final stretch before the trade deadline, and the Washington Nationals are in a very peculiar positioncertainly a position they did not anticipate when the season began.

    After 100 games this season, the Nationals are sitting in third place in the NL East and have a sub-.500 record of 48-52.

    That record puts them in an interesting position regarding whether they are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. The Nationals organization seems to not be sure yet either.

    Ross Detwiler's DL stint is making things even more confusing for the Nationals. 

    Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com tweeted "Davey says Detwiler's injury doesn't make #Nats more likely to trade for starter by July 31. Not interested in rental pitcher."

    General manager Mike Rizzo was quoted by ESPN.com as saying, "We could be buyers and we could be sellers" come the trade deadline.

    We have to believe anything is possible for the Nationals at this point, so let's check in on some potential moves and whether they are leaning more toward fact or fiction.

4. Jake Peavy, SP

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    Jake Peavy knows that every time he takes the mound he is putting on a show for scouts who are scoping him out.

    The Nationals could desperately use the services of Peavy.

    Can you imagine a postseason rotation that boasts Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Peavy?

    If the Nats made it to the postseason with Peavy in the rotation, they certainly would have one of the most feared starting pitchers in October.

    My opinion: Fact

3. Bud Norris, SP

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    Bud Norris is entering the prime of his career, and the Houston Astros are a long way from contending.

    Norris seems to be on the move in Houston, and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has tweeted, "Things have been heating up with Bud Norris trade talks since All-Star break, say baseball execs."

    Norris is an interesting option for the Nats and could be a great fit at the end of their rotation. He also fits Rizzo's mold as not being a "rental player."

    My opinion: Fact


2. Chase Utley, 2B and Adam LaRoche, 1B

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    Regarding Rizzo's statement to ESPN.com that "we could be buyers and we could be sellers" come the trade deadline, it is interesting to think what would happen if the Nationals did a little bit of both.

    I believe they could do both while still competing. 

    If the Nationals could deal Adam LaRoche, they could move Ryan Zimmerman over to first base (something Jayson Stark of ESPN has mentioned), Anthony Rendon to his natural position at third and trade for an experienced veteran who could bring them to the postseason.

    That veteran is divisional foe Chase Utley, who has been the subject of trade talk, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

    Utley provides the veteran leadership that might be able to get this team through the summer and into the postseason. The Nats also have the parts to put together a decent deal and send some pitching prospects to the Philadelphia Phillies for Utley.

    My opinion: Fact

1. Michael Morse, 1B, of

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    It wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world to bring back Michael Morse, who has been the subject of trade speculation via numerous outlets.

    He was a fan favorite, a leader in the clubhouse and a dynamic power hitter. Oh, and he is on a team that isn't in the playoff hunt.

    Morse is getting ready to rejoin the Seattle Mariners after spending some time on the DL, but he has shown his tremendous power this season with Seattle. The Nationals have to realize it is not working with Adam LaRoche either. 

    After hitting 33 home runs and 35 doubles last season, LaRoche has only hit 14 home runs and 12 doubles this season. The Nationals have to suck up some pride, admit that they were wrong in letting Morse go and do what they can to acquire him again.

    To make things easier, LaRoche might be a guy the Nats could package in a trade.

    My opinion: Fact