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Trades I'd Like To See The Nationals Make

The Washington Nationals are 51-32, and first place in the National League East. After losing a game they should have won, they made up for it the next day by beating Pedro Martinez, a pitcher they should have lost to.

So, since the team is on the way to 100 wins, they should stand pat and enjoy the ride. Right?

Wrong.

We need to make a few trades to make a good team a great one. And the scary thing is, we can afford to do it.

Trade #1 Leadoff batter. No one inside the beltway thinks that Brad Wilkerson is the answer at the top of the lineup. His power is wasted [though power is a problem for him this year] and he doesn't put the ball in play often enough. As of this morning, Wilkerson is striking out 30% of the time he comes to the plate.

Juan Pierre of the Marlins, a prototypical leadoff hitter, is striking out 9% of the time. Wilkerson has put the ball in play 75 fewer times based on strikeouts alone. So, lets trade Wilkerson for Pierre. The Marlins have other players speedy enough to lead off. The Marlins could then put Wilkerson in the middle of the lineup, strike out 150 times, hit 35 homers and do what his body is meant to do.

Trade#2 Shortstop. I don't think Guzman will ever be a credible shortstop on real grass. Someone will take him, and it doesn't matter if we can anything back in return. But how about Omar Vizquel who is languishing in San Francisco. He signed late in the free agent period because of his age, and signed for less than he wanted Vizquel is batting .303 with 14 stolen bases. He signed a one year contract, and obviously, with the Giants 34-48 and not in contention for the post season, they'd love to get a medium prospect for Vizquel. Who? We have two top-notch closers in the system right now. Give the Giants one of them.

Trade #3 Third Base. I don't trust Vinny Castilla's stamina for the rest of the year. We've already seen his numbers drop significantly across the board over the past month. What makes anyone think his "slow bat" will regain its speed? The Braves might like him as insurance in case Chipper doesn't come back soon enough or good enough. I'd take Danny Kolb in return, and give him the chance to come back slowly in the middle of the bullpen. Joe Randa would be a great replacement for Castilla. His glove is just a tad below Vinny's, and his bat remains consistent.

He is batting .300 with 12 homers and 44 RBI's. He's sure not in the long term plans for the Reds. We could get him fairly easily [one prospect and a reserve currently on the team perhaps].

With these three trades, the offense would become faster and more consistent. The defense becomes far better [especially as shortstop]. And though it would cost the team some money, Bowden has said over and over that he's got $5-7 million to spend.

We can win the pennant with Wilkerson in the outfield, but I don't think we can with Vinny and Cristian at short and 3rd.


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