The Washington Nationals, eight games out of the NL East and 11 games behind in the NL Wild Card race, have officially let teams know they will be selling at the trade deadline this year.
While all eyes are on impending free agent and future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer and where he will be dealt despite that no-trade clause of his, Ken Rosenthal wrote in The Athletic over the weekend that the Nationals have bigger questions to start answering about their future. Specifically, what should they do with shortstop Trea Turner and outfielder Juan Soto?
Could one or both them really be on the move?
It may seem like a ludicrous proposition, given that Turner doesn’t become a free agent until 2023 and Soto is just 22 years old and under team control until 2025. But the Nationals are trying to avoid that painful purgatory teams enter when contention windows close, aging stars move on, and the seemingly endless rebuilding phase begins. You could become the Detroit Tigers, who now finally see a light at the end of the tunnel after years of torment, or the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, after numerous resets, once again seem further away from contending than ever before.
Rebuilding is no certain thing, especially when you have a farm as depleted as Washington’s system. So the questions about Turner and Soto must be asked, because they would command significant hauls in any trade scenarios.