The Washington Nationals have had a surprisingly decent season to open 2023. The club is in the Top 5 in double plays and is sitting at a 14-20 record (As of 5/8). However, with a long way to go, the team is in rebuild mode.
The Nationals have made plenty of blockbuster trades over the past few years. Trading Max Scherzer & Trea Turner (Josiah Gray, Kiebert Ruiz in return) in 2021. As well as Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, Jon Lester (Lane Thomas in return), and Brad Hand (Riley Adams in return). 2022 included the Nationals trading Juan Soto & Josh Bell to San Diego for CJ Abrams, Mackenzie Gore, Jarlin Suzana, Robert Hassell, and James Wood. So, who could be on the dreaded trade block in 2023? The Nationals could offer many names, such as Carl Edwards Jr, Erasmo Ramirez, and Dominic Smith, but what players are most likely to get dealt at the deadline?
Jeimer Candelario: The 2021 MLB leader in doubles joined the Nationals on a 1-year contract in early December. Candy had a rough 2022 season, slashing .217/.272/.351, hitting 13 home runs, driving in 50, and striking out in 109 at-bats. 2023 has been a bit of a turn for Candelario. Besides Candelario flashing the leather at the hot corner, Jeimer’s hit .228/.275/.375. Hitting 4 homers and driving in 13.
Kyle Finnegan: Since coming to the Nationals and making his MLB debut in 2020, the right-handed reliever has been a workhorse out of the bullpen. Finnegan was rumored to be a trade candidate in 2022. Pitching to a 3.69 ERA over 170.2 Innings, striking out 177 and walking 78 over the past 4 seasons. Finnegan has 2-years of control left on his contract, and in a league where good bullpen arms are not easy to find, Finnegan could be a good asset to any bullpen in the league. Finnegan’s 2023 season has been anything but perfect. Pitching to a 6.75 ERA and blowing 2 saves.
Victor Robles: After three dreadful seasons, Victor Robles appears to have finally found an approach at the plate. Opening the 2023 season leading the team with a .292 batting average. Robles has always been reliable in the field, being a gold glove candidate in each of the past 3 seasons. Robles has struggled at the plate since the 2019 championship season, having a sub .230 average and hitting 11 home runs over the last 3 seasons. Even being sent to Triple AAA Rochester in 2021. Now could be the time that the Nationals move Victor Robles. Especially with James Wood, Robert Hassell, and Elijah Green looming in the minor leagues.