Washington is considering upgrading its outfield and is interested in Charlie Blackmon, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.
While the Nationals have a five and a half game lead over the Marlins in the National League East, the club hasn’t received consistent production from Ben Revere or Michael Taylor.
Revere, who the Nationals acquired to be their leadoff hitter, has struggled over 56 games this season, batting .222/.269/.298 with 18 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Taylor hasn’t had much more success, batting .227/.277/.384 with 14 RBIs and 10 stolen bases over 63 games.
Both Revere and Taylor are under club control next season, so adding Blackmon or another outfielder would only give the Nationals more depth. Washington opted to have Trea Turner play some games in center field when he was in Triple-A, but the Nationals might prefer an external option such as Blackmon.
Washington is 30th in leadoff OPS, Morosi notes, and would directly address an area of need. Over 79 games with the Rockies, Blackmon has batted .305/.368/.481 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs to complement 10 stolen bases.
Blackmon could be ideal for the Nationals, since he isn’t arbitration eligible until next season and won’t be a free agent until 2019. If the Rockies are open to moving him, the price will likely be high.
Prospect Lucas Giolito almost certainly won’t be available, but the Nationals could consider moving Austin Voth, A.J. Cole or Reynaldo Lopez.
If the Nationals are able to upgrade their outfield, they could focus on improving their bullpen before the August 1 deadline. If the club adds bullpen and outfield depth, it will be in position to widen the gap in the N.L. East.
Colorado enters play Tuesday seven games back in the Wild Card standings, but if the Rockies don’t quickly gain ground, they could consider selling in advance of the deadline.