The Nationals at one point had the highest rated farm system in all of baseball, but a lot can change in a year. Baseball America released their top 50 prospect rankings on Thursday and not a single Nationals' player is on the list.
The Nationals' farm system of course took a hit when they traded four of their top young players to the Oakland Athletics for Gio Gonzalez. They also saw their standing suffer when their top prospect Bryce Harper, the top rated prospect overall last July, was called up to the big leagues for good.
But not having a top 50 prospect is a little unsettling when looking towards the future. The Nationals would like to restock their minor league teams and it may just be time that they need. They have drafted several players in recent years who project as top prospects, they just haven't shown enough to be included on the list quite yet.
2011 first round picks Anthony Rendon and Alex Meyer could be in the next top 50 list for instance. Rendon has been hurt this season after being picked sixth overall and Meyer has pitched well enough to be picked for the Futures Game, but only at the Single-A level. Left-hander Matt Purke is also expected to move fast through the minor leagues but has had a slow start to his professional career.
The big league Nationals aren't hurting for young talent at the moment as the team possesses one of the best young rosters in the majors. But as their young draft picks develop, don't be surprised to see a few future Nats on these lists in the future.
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.
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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.
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The Nationals missed out on a major trade target when news broke this afternoon that the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox.
The report comes from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Washington had been the frontrunner to land Sale as recently as this morning. And as recently as 30 minutes ago, the Nationals vs. Red Sox contest seemed like it could go either way.
But apparently the Nats couldn't match Boston's offer of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech plus two minor leaguers, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Now, the dream rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale won't happen.
The trade for Sale was so close, it could impact other potential deals for the Nationals. The team reportedly explored trading Gio Gonzalez to the Yankees if Sale indeed ended up in Washington.
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