WASHINGTON — Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon and the Washington Nationals’ front office is reportedly in the mix to continue adding talent from other teams.
Here’s the latest from MLB insiders around the horn:
Tigers relief pitcher Justin Wilson has been linked to the Nats for more than a month, even after the team acquired Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Athletics two weeks ago. Wilson would give the Nats another battle tested option at closer while padding a bullpen still in need of relief:
Orioles closer Zach Britton is the biggest fish left dangling in the free agent market, and could instantly transform even a mediocre bullpen, given his historic run of success in closing out games.
But given the geographic proximity of the Nats and O’s, combined with the long-ranging money battle over MASN, the Nationals will likely need to overwhelm the O’s in order to acquire Britton’s services (same for Brad Brach).
There’s also a distinct possibility that Baltimore will stand pat at the trade deadline, hoping for some lightning in a bottle after trading for Jeremy Hellickson from the Philadelphia Phillies.
All of this considered, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com sees a match and considers the Nats still in the hunt for Britton:
The Orioles are fielding interest on star closer Zach Britton from the Astros, Nationals, Dodgers and others. While they seem motivated to trade, there’s no guarantee a deal will be completed with anyone at this point.
Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller delivered huge hauls to the Yankees last trade deadline, and will likely be the benchmark for discussions on Britton. If there was any question of what elite closers can mean for a team, consider that Chapman and Miller were the additions that put their respective pennant-clinching teams over the team, and delivered the first World Series in the Cubs in 108 years.
If the Nats are feeling pressure to win now, don’t be shocked to see them go all in if they agree with Britton’s valuation.