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Nats stats at the All-Star break

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Nats stats at the All-Star break

At 49-34, the Washington Nationals are on pace for 96 wins and an N.L. East division title. A lot can change in the months after the All-Star break, but for now the Nats look poised to qualify for the postseason for the first time since moving to Washington, D.C. in 2005. They have found a way to win games, but how much have they improved statistically? Here is a look at where the Nats rank stat-by-stat in the majors and in the National League.

OffenseR 348 (MLB: 20, NL: 9)HR 90 (MLB: 12, NL: 5)RBI 332 (MLB: 19, NL: 9)
BB 253 (MLB: 22, NL: 12)BA - .251 (MLB: 18, NL: 8)OBP - .314 (MLB: 21, NL: 11)SLG - .414 (MLB: 13, NL: 6)OPS - .728 (MLB: 15, NL: 7)SO 686 (MLB: 24, NL: 12)SB 59 (MLB: 12, NL: 6)

The Nationals rank in the middle of the league in most offensive categories, but nearly every statistic is markedly improved from 2011. Batting average for instance is up from .242 to .251, good for a nine-place leap from the end of last season. Even strikeouts have been cut down as the Nationals finished last season with the most strikeouts in the majors with 1,323.

Washington can still use improvement in almost every offensive category, but a healthier lineup should pay dividends in the second half. The Nats were without Ryan Zimmerman for 14 games, Michael Morse for 50, and Bryce Harper wasnt called up until the end of April. They should get Jayson Werth back at some point as well, he had the teams best on-base percentage at .372 when he went down with a broken wrist.

PitchingERA 3.20 (MLB: 1, NL: 1)HR 62 (MLB: 1, NL: 1)SO 693 (MLB: 5, NL: 3)BB 259 (MLB: 15, NL: 9)BAA - .231 (MLB: 1, NL: 1)WHIP 1.20 (MLB: 1, NL: 1)SV 28 (MLB: T4, NL: 4)CG 1 (MLB T20, NL: T10)

The additions of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson, added with the presence of Stephen Strasburg for the entire first half, have given the Nationals the best young rotation in the majors. Career years from some of their bullpen guys including Craig Stammen (1.74 ERA) and Sean Burnett (1.99 ERA) have helped combine for the best overall earned run average in the game.

Nats pitchers throw hard and they get opponents out at an impressive rate. The team gives up the least amount home runs and holds the best WHIP and batting average against in all of baseball. With all these stellar numbers, it would be hard for the team to improve in the second half. This will be especially hard with the likely shut-down of Strasburg in the seasons final months.

FieldingSB 50 (MLB: 9, NL: 6)SB - .806 (MLB: 2, NL: 2)E 49 (MLB: 10, NL: 4)FPCT - .984 (MLB: 11, NL: 5)

The Nationals are above average in errors and fielding percentage and both categories are improvements of several league ranks from last season. They have struggled, however, in keeping opponents from stealing bases. Last year the team allowed the third-fewest stolen bases with 76 in all of 2011. This is probably due to the Wilson Ramos being injured as the defensive catcher allowed just 48 in 108 games played last season.

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Nationals deal top prospects Giolito, Lopez and Dunning to White Sox for Adam Eaton

Nationals deal top prospects Giolito, Lopez and Dunning to White Sox for Adam Eaton

The Washington Nationals were unable to trade the farm to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for former Cy Young winner Chris Sale. But still looking to make a splash, the Nationals went back to the White Sox, and have made a deal.

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Nationals will trade Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton, pending physicals.

Eaton, 28 years old, will be entering his sixth season, having played two seasons with the Diamondbacks and two season with the White Sox.

Eaton has never made an All-Star team, but has a solid OBP of .357 and has back-to-back seasons of 14 home runs and at least 50 RBIs. He also has a very friendly contract, having recently signed a five-year, $23.5 million contract.

In return, the White Sox get a treasure trove of prospects.

Giolito is the top prospect in the Nationals' organization and one of the top prospects in all of MLB. He appeared in six games for the nationals in 2016, finishing with a 6.75 ERA and 11 strikeouts. Lopez, the No. 4 prospect in the organization, appeared in 11 games in 2016, finishing with a 4.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts.

Dunning, one of the ace of the Florida Gators' staff, was selected by the Nationals with the 29th pick of the 2016 MLB Draft.

But considering the Nationals were willing to give up numerous top prospects for Chris Sale or Andrew McCutchen, it's puzzling that the Nationals would receive just Eaton in return.

Heading into the 2016 winter meetings, it was well known that the Nationals were interested in making a big splash and shaking things up.

It looks like they're doing just that.

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Nationals were willing to give up the farm for Chris Sale

Nationals were willing to give up the farm for Chris Sale

By Jason Dobkin

The Nationals were ready to give up a host of top prospects to get Chris Sale from the White Sox.

They weren't able to nab the ace — Chicago decided to trade Sale to the Red Sox for a group of prospects headlined by second baseman Yoan Moncada — but it wasn't for lack of a competitive offer.

The Nats were deep in talks with the White Sox on Monday night, offering up two of their top prospects in right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito and outfielder Victor Robles. They were also reportedly willing to let go of another top pitching prospect, Reynaldo Lopez, who originally wasn't on the table.

Giolito and Robles are two of the best prospects in baseball, and Lopez isn't far behind. Moncada, though, is considered possibly the No. 1 prospect. In addition to Moncada, the Red Sox also gave up stud pitching prospect Michael Kopech.

RELATED: Should the Nationals pursue Andrew McCutchen?

The Nats could have possibly gotten a deal done involving Trea Turner, but they weren't willing to budge on him.

The Nationals' missing on Sale comes not long after they also missed out on pitcher Mark Melancon, who signed with the Giants.

Considering how much Washington was willing to part with to get Sale, losing out on him probably hurts.

MORE: Two ways to look at the Nationals' missing out on Chris Sale