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Nationals rumors: Team still wants to trade Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen

The Nationals are reportedly looking to trade Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen.

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Earlier this month, Thomas Boswell reported that the Nationals had decided to keep Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen, despite what many considered to be an unrepairable situation. Bryce Harper even reached out to the man who choked him, in an effort to smooth out any lingering tension before the 2016 season.

However according to Jayson Stark, not only are Papelbon and Drew still on the market, but that the Nationals might even be actively shopping them.

While both players had great 2015 campaigns, statistically, the best course of action for all parties might be to go their separate ways. Storen asked for a trade during the season, and even though Harper and Papelbon are reportedly fine with one another, it's difficult to imagine them having a great relationship.

Trading Storen should be easy enough, but moving Papelbon could prove to be difficult.

"Everyone knows the situation. They're saying they don't have to move him. But after the guy chokes (Bryce) Haprer, they've gotta do something. And they've got to eat some money, because nobody's taking $11 million".

In addition to the monetary and personality issues attached with Papelbon, he also has a no-trade clause that allows him to block a deal to 12 teams, which limits his potential market even more than it already is. If the Nationals are serious about getting rid of Papelbon, not only will they have to eat a significant amount of his remaining $11 million, but they also "shouldn't expect to get more than 'a very minor prospect' in return for him."

If the Nationals do complete trades for Papelbon and Storen, they'll need to bring in two relievers to pick up the slack. They've already been linked to Darren O'Day, who's been the 15th most valuable reliever by fWAR since 2012, as well as Aroldis Chapman, the most dominant closer left on the trade market.

At the beginning of the year, Washington had the ninth best farm system according to Baseball America, and could undoubtedly put together a competitive package to acquire Chapman. Top prospects such as Lucas Giolito, Joe Ross, and Trea Turner would likely be off limits, but the Nationals have enough depth to pull of a trade with Cincinnati.

After a disappointing year, the Nationals have a lot of work to do this offseason to ensure that they don't fall apart in 2016. While Papelbon and Storen would be bullpen assets if retained, the most prudent course of action for everyone involved could very well be to move on and start anew.