5) The market is still very much up in the air.
At the trade deadline last year, the Texas Rangers (a team the Nationals had lightly discussed Strasburg with over the winter) traded for Cole Hamels. The Toronto Blue Jays traded for David Price. Neither of these teams was aggressive in pursuing a starting pitcher during the offsesason because they did not have an immediate need. When the Rangers managed to stay in contention despite the loss of Yu Darvish, and the American League East failed to separate, both of these teams pounced on aces.
If the Nationals really do want to trade Strasburg, they will find plenty of takers come July 31. With the desperation of the impending deadline, the Nationals may find a fringe contender willing to pay through the nose in prospects for an impact arm that will push them over the top the same way that Price and Hamels lifted their teams into the playoffs.
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