Washington may be willing to part with catcher Kurt Suzuki, a key to the success down the stretch in 2012 after he was acquired shortly after the deadline. Wilson Ramos has gotten most of the playing time behind the plate, Suzuki would be a free agent after this season if the Nationals don’t exercise a team option and the team feels comfortable with Jhonatan Solano as a backup.
The Nationals did some initial exploring into the starting pitching market. With lefty Ross Detwiler slated to be on the disabled list for roughly another month and Taylor Jordan nearing a team-mandated innings limit, their depth has been challenged. They “kicked the tires” on Cubs right-hander Matt Garza before he was traded to Texas, according to a person familiar with the situation. According to a person close to the team, the Nationals had interest in Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, who would be attractive because he’s under contract for 2014 as well.
The Post Sports Live crew debates whether the Nationals can still make it to the postseason, despite the hole they have dug themselves.
Insight on the Nationals and all the latest news from Post reporters Adam Kilgore and James Wagner.
But the Nationals’ interest in starting pitching has waned as they’ve listened to high asking prices and the back of their rotation has stabilized. Dan Haren has a 3.13 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list, and Ross Ohlendorf has been flinging mid-90s fastballs while compiling a 1.87 ERA in 332
3 innings. In an emergency the Nationals could turn to Nate Karns, who made three big league starts earlier this year and in his past 10 outings at Class AA has a 2.88 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 591
The Nationals are not worried about a theoretical disruption to their staff. They have no concern Gio Gonzalez will be disciplined when MLB issues suspensions to players with ties to the Biogenesis case. The New York Post reported discipline could be meted out this week. Gonzalez is “not in that group,” one Nationals official said.
Gonzalez’s name appeared in notebooks at the Biogenesis office, according to the original Miami New Times report in January. ESPN subsequently reported Gonzalez had not been sold performance-enhancing drugs. All year, the Nationals have remained confident Gonzalez would be cleared, and with a resolution apparently near, that has not changed.
And so, the Nationals will remain vigilant and busy between now and 4 p.m. Wednesday. The diligence, though, will likely lead only to a quiet deadline.
“We’ve got a lot of trade discussions,” Rizzo said. “We’ve received calls, we’ve made calls. I’m not going to go much more into it than that, other than we’re going to do what we do at every trade deadline. We’re going to try to improve this ballclub for 2013 and beyond.”