On Tuesday, the Nationals shipped second baseman Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs and first baseman Matt Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a prospect and cash.
The mid-August trades were essentially the team's way of calling it a season as they currently sit at .500 and are 7.5 games back in the division.
A team projected to take the National League East for the third consecutive season, red flags began to pop up early in the season. But General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo remained optimistic that this team, filled with both veteran and rookie talent, could fight their way back.
One day after starting the rebuilding process and admitting it's time to look ahead to 2019, Mike Rizzo reflected on the 2018 season while on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies simulcast on NBC Sports Washington.
"This one's up there with the most frustrating years that we've had. The most disappointing? Probably up there too," Rizzo said.
"The frustrating part about it is that we just can't seem to get a rhythm, we can't seem to stay healthy in one sector of the roster. We get one guy back and we put another big cog of the team on the disabled list. I think that's the frustrating part. Yeah, this ranks up there with some of the most disappointing teams that we've had."
The Nats currently have nine players on the DL, seven of which are pitchers, and the bulk of the Nationals' drama has centered around the pitching staff.
Between a players-only meeting, a dugout dispute involving Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg, a reportedly almost physical altercation between Rizzo and Shawn Kelley before they designated him for assignment and dealing away Brandon Kintzler for what was said to be a financial move and not because he was a media source, one of the strongest bullpens in the league began to crumble.
But above all, the inconsistency from a lineup displaying some of Major League Baseball's finest was enough to begin an overhaul.
"This is my 37th year in professional baseball. I've seen it all. I've won a World Series and lost in playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. But to be as inconsistent as we have been is something that doesn't sit well with Davey [Martinez] or I, and that's something that we have to fix."
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