The Nationals don’t expect to go without shortstop Trea Turner for more than two months, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. As such, the report suggests, Washington doesn’t currently intend to pursue a replacement at the position. The Nats do have internal options, of course, in veteran Stephen Drew and youngster Wilmer Difo, who could make for a functional platoon pairing. And the team is still holding a sizable lead in the division, although there’s still time for that to change. Regardless of whether any other position players are ultimately pursued, the biggest need in D.C. remains in the bullpen.
- Elsewhere in the division, the Marlins are lining up to sell barring a sudden turnaround, with their relief corps looking to be an area of focus for rival organizations. Indeed, the Fish have already been contacted by half the teams in baseball about righty David Phelps, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets. That may be due to the fact that the team just pushed to move the salary of shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, perhaps leading other organizations to smell some blood in the water. Surely, though, Miami will wait to allow interest to build to maximize the return on Phelps, who has continued to pitch well after a breakout 2016 season.
- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. discussed his organization’s approach with the trade deadline coming, as Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. DeWitt said he “never” believes it’s advisable to “go all in for a season and sacrifice the future.” Obviously, that applies now as the Cards find themselves in a somewhat strange position — not playing terribly well and way out of the Wild Card race, but still within range of the division lead. He did say its possible the team could “try to do something with a short-term asset to get a long-term asset” — if, that is, the Cardinals end up being “totally out of the race.” As newly minted president of baseball operations John Mozeliak noted, even if the Cardinals are in the thick of things, it’s not clear to what extent they’ll be buyers. “When I look at the future we have to embrace our farm system,” he said. “For us unless there was this one thing that we felt could change the outcome of our season, then I might look at it a little differently. But we haven’t been able to identify what that one thing might be.”
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio also commented on his team’s state of affairs, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the story. While Milwaukee has surprisingly managed to stay out in front in the NL Central, Attanasio says he has expressed to GM David Stearns and skipper Craig Counsell that “there would be no pressure from me to divert from the plan.” (That, of course, is a reference to the organization’s long-term vision to build a sustainable winner.) Attanasio suggested that Stearns’s sober decisionmaking process has bought him significant operation leeway, though surely that same fact will lead to a calculated approach to the deadline. Still, the owner acknowledged that he’s excited to see his team in first: “I’ll admit my expectations are higher. How could they not be?”
- In a lengthy chat with the media that’s well worth a full read, Phillies president Andy MacPhail addressed the frustrating first half of the year for his organization. (Via CSNPhilly.com.) Generally, he expressed an inclination to continue staying the course, noting that the team is focused on evaluating its internal options and has maintained a mostly open balance sheet for future campaigns. As regards the coming deadline, MacPhail suggested that righty Pat Neshek and outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick ought to draw significant interest, saying that it will be GM Matt Klentak’s “job” to “find a motivated buyer” for Neshek, in particular. He also said the organization does not see any untouchable players in its system. Klentak’s boss said that the GM “needs to keep a wide spectrum, wide horizon and any opportunity that makes sense for us going forward, he should explore.”