Here we go again. Another trade deadline in which the Washington Nationals are trying to get better pitching. A few things are different this time around. This year's trade deadline was pushed back one month due to the late start of the season. In the past, the Nats have needed relief pitching; this year, it's starting pitching.
I would have never thought the Nats would need to acquire starting pitching assets. With Strasburg out for the year and Anibal Sanchez struggling, it's perfect timing that the trade deadline is quickly approaching. Erick Fedde and Austin Voth have both been good, but not great. I think it's time to look outside the organization for a starting pitcher(s).
With all the regulations set by the MLB, teams can only trade for players who are on the 60-man player pool. Also, we still don't know the fate of every team yet. Normally, we know which teams are sellers and which teams are buyers. But, with every team in contention, we could see a lot of trades going through. This makes the job even harder for Mike Rizzo and the Nationals.
So far we only know a few teams who are looking to sell. It's almost guaranteed that the Nationals are going to make an attempt to trade for an MLB-ready starting pitcher. It's really undecided who that may be. I don't think we are going to see a blockbuster trade here. The Nats already have two amazing starters. They need someone who can fill the back-end of the rotation.
The Nationals are also competing with a few other teams in the division for starting pitching. The Nats, Braves, and Mets all need starting pitching. The Nationals need to find guys who are cheap but can turn into good players. The Nats have made many moves like this before, most notably: Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson. They both came to the bullpen via trade and still remain on the team today as reliable arms.
There is no better scouting GM then Mike Rizzo. He is known for old-school scouting. This is how year-in and year-out they continue to find quality relievers at a low price. Look for the Nats to do the same thing this year, but with a starter(s) instead. This year, expect the Nats to be buyers at the trade deadline, with a goal of picking up starting pitchers.