MLB Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals: 5 Players Who Could Go At Trade Deadline

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Five Nationals Who Could Be Traded

Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

With a GM like Mike Rizzo running your team, knowing what that team will do is a complete crapshoot. Will he hold? Will he make a trade? Who will he ask for? Yes, to call Mike Rizzo a "baseball ninja" would be a nice comparison, if not an understatement; he's always there, waiting in the shadows to strike. Did anyone see the Jayson Werth deal coming? How about the Gio Gonzalez trade? Rafael Soriano, a National? Nope, did not see that one either. Rizzo likes to play things close to vest, never tipping his hand until he has a deal he wants.

The beautiful thing about this strategy, of course, is it allows for wild speculation regarding what Rizzo will do. If Rizzo believes he has a deal in place that will help his ball club two fold, he will do it. Look at every deal he has made and you will see this reigns true. Rizzo is not going to pull Washington into a 'win-now' deal, especially based on past behavior (see Stephen Strasburg Shutdown).

It will be a fascinating dynamic to see what Rizzo does, and where Washington stands, because the two go hand in hand. Rizzo got prospects back in the Mike Morse deal, one of which is helping Washington now in Ian Krol. Rizzo may try to pull off multiple deals, perhaps feeling as though Washington needs an upgrade in a couple spots. I do believe he will try to deal for a pitcher if Dan Haren can not get straightened out or is released by then, and I also believe he will try to improve the farm system. Here are five players Rizzo could dangle in either of the aforementioned deals.

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Danny Espinosa

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With the emergence of Anthony Rendon, and Espinosa's seemingly perpetual offensive struggles (.154 Average in his first five Triple-A games), Espinosa may only be on his way back to showcase his wares for a trade. He's a switch hitting shortstop by trade, with the tools for second and the offensive capabilities when healthy (17 Home Runs in 2011.) Chances he's traded: 30 percent.

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Rafael Soriano

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Soriano is in the first year of a big money deal with Washington, but his salaries are affordable because of differed money. He's shown he can close in both leagues, and New York, so Rizzo may get some calls about him. Dealing him would not make much sense because Washington still considers themselves a contender, as they should. Chances he's traded: 15 percent.

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Tyler Clippard

Brad Mills- USA TODAY Sports

With relievers, teams try to sell high because of how hard it can be to gauge them. Clippard has shown he can set up and close, and with the emergence of guys like Craig Stammen and Christian Garcia, Clippard may be the odd man out. Chances he's traded: 35 percent.

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Dan Haren

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Anything Washington does with Haren, of course, hinges on him a) being healthy and b) being consistent. Last night against Philadelphia, Haren wasn't bad (six innings, four earned runs with three walks), but it's probably one of his better starts. Haren's gone to at least the fifth inning in all but one of his last 10 starts, so subtract some home runs and earned runs, and you have a typical Haren year. Chances he's traded: 25-50 percent.

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Ross Detwiler

Brad Mills- USA TODAY Sports

Many consider Detwiler the best fifth starter in baseball, and it's hard to disagree. He's versatile and is able to go through hitters with essentially one pitch. A team receiving him could use him in the bullpen or plug him into the rotation, but I don't think Rizzo considers him expendable unless it's a franchise changing deal. Chances he's traded: 10 percent.