Earlier this afternoon I wrote that the Washington Nationals would be well suited to just stay quiet as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. After the recent reports about starting pitcher Ross Detwiler, the Nationals may be forced to make a move before the deadline comes.
It really all bends around Detwiler. Prior to the MLB All-Star break, the starting pitcher was placed on the disabled list with a back injury. He was expected to rest and rehab over the break including a few bullpen sessions. After today’s bullpen session, manager Davey Johnson told reporters that Detwiler will miss at least two more starts.
That’s what makes the trade situation more interesting.
While Detwiler is out rehabbing his back, minor-leaguer Taylor Jordan has been filling in. In four starts this season, Jordan is 0-2 with a 3.32 ERA and ten strikeouts. Despite his 0-2 record, the Nationals have won the other two games that Jordan scored a no-decision on.
While having Jordan simply replace Detwiler in the rotation until he come’s back from rehab and forget about the trade deadline may be the simplest fix to the problem, it likely won’t work. If Detwiler’s injury causes him to miss more than just the next two starts, the Nationals could have their hands tied as Jordan is on an innings limit since he is returning from Tommy John Surgery.
With all that in mind, unless Ross Detwiler’s condition dramatically improves in the near future, like in the next week, they may be forced to trade for a starting pitcher. A couple of names that have been thrown around are Bud Norris of the Houston Astros and Yovanni Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers. Matt Garza is also another pitcher on the trade block. But if reports hold true, it appears that he’ll be heading to the Texas Rangers.
Should the Nationals need to make a trade, they have a whole host of minor-leaguers that they could use as a trade bait. They should have no problem being able to make a deal to get either Norris or Gallardo. It all depends on the rehab of Ross Detwiler. If he can’t make it back soon, then general manager Mike Rizzo may have no other choice than to make a trade.