Returning to the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals should immediately be making calls to the Washington Nationals to offer solutions to their closer needs.
The Washington Nationals have a secure nine-game lead in the NL-East but they have had a rough time from their closer position. This is where the St. Louis Cardinals can help. The Cardinals should, in my opinion, be making calls today to offer the likes of Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-hwan Oh to the Nationals.
According to a recent MLB post, the Nationals are a championship team all but their bullpen. Sound familiar, St. Louis Cardinals fans? That said, the MLB article does not mention the Cardinals as potential trade partners but to that I say, why not? Surely Rosenthal and Oh would be of interest to the Nationals.
But wait! The Nationals just today signed Fransisco Rodney to a minor league deal. Rodney, a former closer of glory, fell on tough times lately with his stint with the Tigers and was ultimately released. He does have 437 career saves (4th all-time) but this season saw his ERA balloon to 7.82.
Does the signing of Rodney prevent the Nationals from having interest in Rosey or Oh? I doubt it if the price is right and if Rodney or others in the Washington pen continue to falter.
This means, therefore, that the Cardinals would be sellers in a way. In return, however, the Cards could ask for names like Stephen Drew or Wilmer Difo if they have interest in MLB players. More likely than not, the Cardinals would seek prospects or could even go for the big name of Gio Gonzalez.
The Cardinals have been attached to rumors for Drew in the past and this could be the year to make it happen. The Cardinals have also been attached to rumors for Gonzalez and with him facing vesting options or free agency in 2018, the Nationals might consider sending him off.
Gonzalez, left-handed, has started sixteen games this season and pitched 100.1 innings thus far. He has a beautiful 2.87 ERA which would certainly raise the price required to land him. In addition, the Nationals are very likely not interested in sending off a power starter like this since they anticipate postseason play.
All-in-all, the Cardinals need to call the Nationals and start the conversations right now.