Oh My: Nationals Signaling That They May Start Selling

It was all supposed to go so differently for a team with a new manager, with multiple stars in their final year before free agency, with a loaded bullpen, with one of the best pitchers on the planet, and with a history of getting so close.

But after falling seven games back in the NL East, behind two teams, and below .500 in late July, despite earlier making a big trade to add to that bullpen, the Washington Nationals are now at a crossroads. Do they bank on their talent and supplement now, knowing that it’s a 50/50 shot at making the playoffs even if they play up to their ability? Or do they sell off from their huge pool of short-term pieces while they can, and just go for it again next year?

Well, it sounds like they’re gearing up to possibly go the surprising route:

It’s the right thing to do, given where the Nationals are, and it probably even sends a message to the players for the next few games. They’re about to play the Marlins for four, so if they can’t gear up and win some now, maybe the front office pulls the plug. It sounds extreme, but it’s that point of the season for them where a couple additional losses against a bottom-dweller could really crush their playoff odds.

As Passan cautions, this is not the same thing as the Nationals deciding to sell, at least not yet:

Given the timing involved and the future desire to re-sign him, I really doubt any selling – hypothetical or actual – will involve Bryce Harper. Instead, it would probably be lesser pieces. Passan mentions bullpen arms, though that market is extremely robust with options.

I wonder how many other buyers and sellers will be impacted by this news, wanting to wait a couple more days to see what happens to the market if the Nationals do ultimately decide to sell off.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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