Option 3: Trade Jordan Zimmerman
The name, or one of the names, that does keep getting mentioned in trade rumors is Jordan Zimmerman. Being centered around trade rumors now is understandable, as he is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season. The Nationals would much rather trade the two-time All-Star and get an upgrade at second base or center field than retain him and get nothing in return come the end of the season. With Roark in the wings, the Nationals should have no qualms about pulling the trigger on a Zimmerman trade for the right price. However, just because they should have no qualms doesn’t mean they should actually pull the trigger. Let’s say that a trade does happen, what if Roark takes a big step back and there’s a big hole at the back-end of the rotation? Of course, Roark is only the 5th starter in this scenario and could be fairly easy to replace. Replacing the replacement could backfire though, while Zimmerman is off leading a team into a deep post season run. That’s a lot of what-ifs though, and again, the Nats need to explore upgrades at both center field and second base. Sure, Denard Span is coming off a year that he slashed .302/.355/.416, but he’ll be 31 in February and his career slash line is .286/.352/.392, so those 2014 numbers aren’t likely to be seen in 2015. Not to mention. the Nats traded their top outfield prospect Steven Souza to Tampa Bay, so addressing the center field option from within isn’t likely. Speaking of Tampa Bay, former Nats second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera is there now and the Nats settled for former Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar, who will be manning Cabrera’s old spot for the Nats. So if the Nationals could get upgrades at one or both of those positions in a deal for Zimmerman they would be in good shape both in the lineup and on the mound.
Potential Suitors: Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals