The MLB non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone. The Washington Nationals made one significant move to pick up infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians. Cabrera is a career .270 hitter and a solid asset to have with the ambiguous amount of time that 3B Ryan Zimmerman will now be out with a hamstring injury.
Acquiring Cabrera required sending minor league standout Zach Walters to the Indians and sending relief pitcher Aaron Barrett down to Triple-A. While Barrett has had a solid overall year, his play in the month of July has cost him a spot on the major league team.
The Nationals’ roster didn’t change much this week and because of that they remain a strong contender in the National League. Pitching has been the foundation of the team since the beginning of the season and their starting rotation continues to be one of the best in the majors. On a team where strikeout monster Stephen Strasburg is possibly the weakest link, they can’t be too bad.
Pitching aside, the batting order must continue to produce in the second half of the season. Leadoff man and OF Denard Span took his game to a new level in the month of July. Fellow outfielder Jayson Werth has also been producing, but players like Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche need to hit consistently at the plate if the team intends to make a run in the playoffs.
Overall, the front office knows that they have all of the makings of a great team already in place. Blockbuster moves were not necessary before the trade deadline. What’s more important to the Nationals is that they find a way to win and support their standout pitchers like Doug Fister and Tanner Roark. The team is in a tight race for the NL East division title and will need to find their groove in the next two months.