The Nationals have become the subject of many trade rumors in recent days, most involving their apparent interest in adding a big piece to their struggling bullpen.
Aroldis Chapman's name has been thrown out there, so has former Nats' pitcher Tyler Clippard's. And on Monday they were linked to Padres closer Craig Kimbrel.
The report comes from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who says the Nats spoke with the Padres about Kimbrel, the former Braves closer. Heyman says the talks stalled when the Padres offered a proposal involving shortstop prospect Trea Turner returning to San Diego. The Nats acquired Turner in a three-team trade over the offseason that brought the former Padres' first round pick to Washington.
Turner has thrived since joining the Nationals and is the clear heir apparent to Ian Desmond at shortstop. His value long-term in the organization is obvious and it's no wonder the Nats would turn down a trade offer involving him.
They may not part with Turner, but the Nats' reported interest in Kimbrel is interesting. Kimbrel, 27, is by most accounts the best closer in today's game. He has been an All-Star in each of the last four seasons, has earned Cy Young votes in each of those years and three times has received MVP votes. This season he holds a 2.75 ERA - high for his standards - and 29 saves in 30 chances.
Kimbrel is also under team control for the next three years and his salary goes up to $11 million in 2016. They would essentially be acquiring a new closer for the next two to three seasons at least.
Whether they pull the trigger on a trade this big or not, it appears the Nats are serious in adding a big boost to their bullpen before the pennant race heats up.