If you are looking to find a scout from any of the Major League teams just check out Nationals Park this week. The Washington Nationals are doing all they can to mount one final run for the Wild Card Playoff spot in the National League.
Meanwhile, over a dozen teams have sent scouts to Washington to see Dan Haren pitch, Adam LaRoche hit and play first base, and the Miami Marlins‘ Giancarlo Stanton play the field and hit. Now, the only one of the three players mentioned that could be traded at this moment is Haren.
The Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo is fielding phone calls on him as fast as you can say iPhone. You might recognize Rizzo when you are at Nationals Park; he is the man with the mask and the gun.
Because anyone who wants Haren will have to pay a very steep ransom to get him.
Some scouts are tracking everything that both Stanton and LaRoche do, but it is not until 2014 that either man would be on another team. LaRoche and Stanton are two men that might very well be trade targets after the season is over, but if you are a team interested you better have a great deal of information on both of them. Any deal for either player will likely be very complex and include multiple players. Deals like that take a great deal of time to craft and that is why they are done in the offseason.
As for Haren, at the moment he is one of the National League’s hottest pitchers with a 2.53 ERA and 54/11 K/BB ratio in 57 innings. There are any number of teams who could use him including the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Oakland A’s whose scouts have been following the Nationals for over a month.
Rizzo is in the wonderful position of not having to trade Haren unless the deal is to his liking. According to a couple of scouts the Nationals are looking for a “group of prospects.” So with the focus on the battle in the NL Central and the AL East, anyone who wants Haren will pay Rizzo’s price or he will finish the season in Washington; which if the team is indeed in the race to the final Wild Card spot would not be too bad either.