The MLB non-waiver trade deadline will take place on Aug. 1 this year, not July 31 as it usually does. The unique schedule change was made due to July 31 of this year falling on a Sunday.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said the switch will be only for this year and that moving forward the deadline will return to July 31. The actual deadline occurs at 4 p.m. ET. If it were on Sunday, it would pass while many teams were in the middle of games.
The Nationals haven't always been active at the trade deadline, but have made significant deadline moves in each of the past two years. In 2014, they acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians and he helped them win the NL East as a short-term rental. In 2015, they traded with the Phillies for closer Jonathan Papelbon. He did not quite have the same positive effect on the team as Cabrera.