It seems that Washington Nationals are moving to their next plan. According to Jon Heyman, the Nationals are focusing on Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Andrew McCutchen.
Several writers from the Washington area are reporting that the Nationals and Pirates are set to have more discussions surrounding a possible deal for the center fielder. Originally, they were heavily focused on acquiring Chris Sale from the White Sox as they felt they had enough high-level prospects to acquire both Sale and McCutchen.
However, those plans ended up falling as the White Sox ended up trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox. The Nationals should not be ashamed they didn’t acquire Chris Sale as now they have enough high-level prospects to land McCutchen.
Where the stalling happens to be occurring is that the Pirates are asking for both Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles. This is a stalling point for the Nationals because they don’t want to give up that much talent for McCutchen, who happens to be coming off arguably his worst season in his career.
It should also be noted that McCutchen is owed $28 million from the Pirates over the next two seasons, but if he is starting to trend downward, then it may become easier for the Pirates to trade him.
As of last night, the feeling at the Winter Meetings was that the Nationals had a real chance at acquiring Sale, right before the Red Sox came in and swooped in. A lot of baseball people were saying that a lot of the reason why the Nationals ended up failing in getting Chris Sale was that they didn’t want to part ways with Treat Turner.
Also, it’s been a rather frustrating start to the Winter Meetings for the Nationals as they also failed to get Mark Melancon after he ended up signing with the San Francisco Giants. It is still early in the Winter Meetings and the baseball off-season, so it will be interesting to see how everything plays out.