The Nationals, on trade deadline day decided to do what every front office doesn't enjoy doing. Tearing down a team to rebuild it. General Manager Mike Rizzo offloaded various players with an eye toward the future.
Rizzo had one objective, which was to replenish the farm system using veteran players. The Nats general manager accomplished that as the team announced they now have four prospects in Baseball America's Top 100 rankings.
The team now looks to the future and wants to build around their cornerstone piece, Juan Soto. Their lone prospect in the Top 100 for Baseball America when 2021 began was right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli.
As the Nationals traded away valuable assets, they needed to bring in prospects who would improve their presence in these rankings and have young players the fanbase can be excited about with a rebuild now underway.
The trades that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers brought back the No. 16 prospect in catcher Keibert Ruiz and No. 59 with right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray. There were other young players in the deal, but those two were the marquee names.
Meanwhile, this move wasn't a trade but it was business that needed to get done. Once the Nationals signed their first-round selection from the 2021 MLB Draft, Brady House, Baseball America rated the shortstop as the No. 92 prospect in baseball.
With the rebuild underway in the nation's capital, these four players will play a key role in trying to get the Nationals back into contention in the NL East after four division titles between 2012 and 2017 and a World Series title in 2019.