With the Washington Nationals having one of their worst months in recent memory, many around the league figure the ballclub will be sellers ahead of Friday afternoon's trade deadline. Ace Max Scherzer, relievers Daniel Hudson and Brad Hand, as well as outfielder Kyle Schwarber are viewed as potential candidates to be dealt, as they all are free agents after the season.
However, on Monday, multiple reports surfaced that Washington would be open to moving All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, should they get a substantial package that would make the deal worthwhile.
The fact that Washington is even remotely considering moving Turner prior to the deadline "really surprised" MLB Network analyst Robert Flores.
"The Trea Turner news, his name being involved in any kind of speculation really surprised me," Flores said on the Sports Junkies.
Part of the reason Washington is reportedly considering moving Turner, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, is that the franchise has not been able to sign the shortstop to a long-term deal in past attempts. As it stands now, Turner is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2022 season.
There are several star shortstops, from Corey Seager to Carlos Correa to Trevor Story, who are all set to hit the free-agent market this winter. That trio, along with the 10-year, $341 million deal Francisco Lindor signed with the Mets this past spring, will almost certainly reset the free-agent market for the shortstop position.
Turner, who is currently second in fWAR among all shortstops, could command similar money to what Lindor signed when he hits the open market next winter.
"Turner is the best player that doesn't get talked about enough nationally," Flores said. "He is a great, great player. I know the position is loaded with stars with Tatis and Correa, but when you talk about those guys, it shouldn't take you too long to then talk about Trea Turner. That's how good he is."
Turner has been an everyday player for the Nationals since the end of the 2016 season. Over the last two years, he and Juan Soto have been two of the best hitters in all of baseball. To think Washington would even consider breaking up that duo by moving Turner is hard to imagine.
With the Nationals struggling significantly right now, it's almost a foregone conclusion they will be sellers at the deadline. But even if GM Mike Rizzo and his staff want to attempt a mini-rebuild, Flores thinks Turner must remain in their plans no matter what.
"I think Trea Turner has to be involved in any kind of rebuild, reimagining facelift moving forward," Flores said.