Nationals

Quick Links

Report: Nats interested in trading Papelbon and Storen

pap_storen.jpg

Report: Nats interested in trading Papelbon and Storen

Forget the hot stove — there are possible trades and transactions surrounding the Nationals at this juncture of the offseason that have turned it into a scorching stove. And, according to a recent report, things could get even more intense in the coming weeks.

Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote on Monday that, in addition to looking at bringing in big-name relievers like Darren O'Day and Aroldis Chapman, Washington is also interested in getting rid of a few bullpen pieces of their own: Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen.

"Clubs the Nationals have spoken with say they're trying to remake the back of their bullpen by trading both of the men who closed for them last year," Stark said. He then cited a conversation he had with a team official who said the rest of the league knows that GM Mike Rizzo wouldn't mind trading Papelbon, even though Rizzo has said otherwise in the past.

As for the possible market for the two right-handers? According to Stark, one American League executive speculated that the Nats wouldn't get much more than "a very minor prospect" if they traded Papelbon, while a National League executive said he'd "put [Storen] in the eighth inning every day and pay him good money to do it." But Stark added he was unsure whether people would be comfortable with using the 28-year-old as a ninth inning finisher. 

Since Washington made the move to acquire Papelbon on July 28 and essentially replace a thriving Storen with him, the two have been linked. Now, it looks like the franchise that had hoped they'd form a formidable duo in the later innings on a night-to-night basis wants to part ways with both of them. We'll have to wait and see whether they're able to find a partner willing to make up the other half of a deal, though.

MORE NATIONALS: Is O'Day worth the price tag to the Nationals?

Quick Links

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

scherzer-dugout.jpg
USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: