To say that not much has gone right for the Washington Nationals this season is an understatement.
Instead of running away with the National League East this year and contending for a World Series title, the Nationals find themselves below .500 as we approach the end of August and not trending in a positive direction. More importantly, they are 7.5 games out of the division lead with both the Braves and the Phillies ahead of them and 6.5 games out of a wild card spot with half a dozen teams with far better odds than they do to occupy that spot.
Just a little while ago, it appears that the Nationals have recognized their fate as they traded Daniel Murphy to the Cubs after he was claimed off of waivers and now they have parted ways with their first baseman as well.
Matt Adams has been a steady performer for the Nationals this year and he provides substantial value for the Cardinals who have ridden a late season surge towards playoff contention. In 94 games this season, Adams has slashed .257/.332/.510 with 18 homers and 48 RBIs. The move also returns Adams to his original team as he was a member of the Cardinals organization for quite some time until St. Louis traded him to the Braves in 2017.
As for the Nationals, this is a far too late acknowledgement that their season is going to end without a playoff berth. Bryce Harper is staying with the team (his own waiver claim expired without a deal done) and Daniel Murphy would have garnered a greater return if the Nationals had read the writing on the wall and traded him at the trade deadline. Combine that with letting Adams go for nothing and you have a franchise whose window seems to be closing in a hurry, especially if Harper decides to move on this offseason.