The Washington Nationals smashed their way to a decisive 8-3 victory yesterday over Texas. Today, they go for a series win in the final game before the All-Star break — and the MLB Draft. Today is a reminder that all of the pieces given up in the Adam Eaton blockbuster trade are still very active in the MLB. That December 7 trade of 2016 extricated the Nats’ three highest ranked pitching prospects to complete the deal which included the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, Lucas Giolito, and young fireballer Reynaldo López, and the final piece was the Texas Rangers’ starter Dane Dunning who is 8-1 this season with a 2.61 ERA.
The Nats drafted Dunning in the 1st round of that 2016 draft, and the only reason he could be included in that trade at the time was because two years before that, the Trea Turner blockbuster trade to the Nats, changed the PTBNL rule.
That trade more than others might prove that Rizzo is good at making draft picks when you look at the success of those three players, but on the other hand, it will spur on a debate as to the Nats issues with developing pitchers.
For the Nats, they have their only active player who was a teammate with Eaton in that 2019 World Season, the one that made it all worth that trade. That player of course is Patrick Corbin. Eaton, Luis Garcia, and Kyle Finnegan were 2020 teammates with the Nats. There of course are other players that were also teammates of Eaton in the system that are not active like Sean Doolittle, Victor Robles, Carter Kieboom, Jake Noll, Matt Adams, and Stephen Strasburg.
Immediately following the game, all focus will turn to the MLB Draft which begins at 7 pm EDT. That Dunning trade is a reminder of how key the draft is — but also how important development is to the whole process.
“I talk about it all the time that it’s a lot different ballgame if you go out there and score first. I hope these guys learned today by going out there and putting some runs up on the board early, our pitcher gets to relax a little bit, and they get to relax a little bit and have some fun. Hopefully, we come out [on Sunday] and do the same thing.”— manager Dave Martinez said after the previous game
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Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast Link for the game.
Texas Rangers vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 12:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app