Is anyone on the Nats roster worth selling?

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With the Nationals season circling the drain like a dead goldfish being flushed down the toilet, it’s time to break down the Nats trade possibilities.  This whole discussion is dependent on Mike Rizzo giving up on 2013 season and selling off his spare parts, which probably won’t happen.  But if the Nats lose another 5 straight games, anything is possible.

I’m confining this discussion to the Nats current 25-man roster.  Maybe I’ll do a minor league breakdown tomorrow, after another depressing Nats loss.

The Untradable (physically can’t be traded)

Jayson Werth – no trade clause

Ryan Zimmerman – no trade clause

The Untouchable (Rizzo would be crazy to do it)

Stephen Strasburg – Ace under team control until 2017

Gio Gonzalez – same

Jordan Zimmermann – Ace w/ 2 more years of team control

Ian Desmond – Most productive SS in baseball w/ 2 more years of team control

Bryce Harper – I shouldn’t have to explain this

Anthony Rendon – Possible franchise player – team control until 2019

Worthless Hot Garbage (should be sent to North Korea)

Dan Haren

Waiver Wire Fodder (could be traded, but won’t get any value)

Steve Lombardozzi – HUGE step back in 2013/ journeyman in training

Chad Tracy – Lucky to be employed

Scott Hairston – Nats got him for a turkey sandwich, and probably overpaid

Ross Ohlendorf – No value

Roger Bernadina – Probably the most value on this group, but only because he can play defense

Too Promising to Trade

Wilson Ramos – All-Star talent – 3 more years of team control

Taylor Jordan – Enough promise to be a back-of-the-rotation guy for years

*Ross Detwiler – Still has 2 years of team control – trading him now would be selling very low (*not really on the 25-man roster, but worth mentioning here)

Ian Krol – Promising reliever – 6 more years of cost control

OK, that was the easy part.  Here are the guys with value, capable of being traded:

Tradeable

Fernando Abad – Nats found him on the scrap heap – wouldn’t be surprised if Rizzo flipped him to a team desperate for a lefty

Rafael Soriano – Could be flipped to a contender without a real closer, but it’s unlikely considering the Nats gave up a first round pick to get him.  He’s under contract for next year, so he’s probably more valuable to the Nats, who are looking to contend next year, too

Adam LaRoche – Could be very valuable to a team looking for a lefty bat.  He’s also signed for next year, so Rizzo would only trade him if he was convinced LaRoche could be replaced in the offseason

Denard Span – Would have value on the open market because he’s cost controlled for another 2 years.  But his value would be much higher in the offseason when there are more bidders.  Nationals would be unlikely to get back the value they gave up last offseason.

Kurt Suzuki – Expensive team option next year ($8.5) makes it unlikely he’ll be back – Nats should get whatever value they can

Very Tradable

Tyler Clippard – Clippard is hot and he’s getting expensive, starting next season (he makes $4 million this year) – perfect candidate for a team desperate to fix it’s bulllpen

Drew Storen – Storen will start to get expensive next year too – he’s a “proven closer” with 3 more years of team control – might actually get a decent return

Craig Stammen – Like Clippard and Storen, his price will start to go up, but he may be more valuable to Nats considering he’s less likely to get a big raise in arbitration (arbitration has a huge bias in favor of “proven closers”)

Well, there you have it.  Even if the Nationals decide to punt the season like Ray Guy, there’s not a lot of the table.  They might be able to flip a couple of relievers for a decent prospect or two, or might be able to shed some salary (like LaRoche).  But the 2014 Nationals will look a lot like the 2013 Nationals, which might not be a good thing.

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