Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo made an appearance on SiriusXM’s Front Office on MLBNetwork Radio this afternoon, where he discussed Washington’s deadline plans with hosts Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette. As relayed by Bowden, Rizzo provided an update on the market for third baseman Jeimer Candelario, telling the duo that the club has eight teams in on the Nationals’ top trade chip. Rizzo further indicated that the club would “move fast” in getting a deal done once they’re offered the “right player” in exchange for Candelario’s services.
That the Nationals intend to move Candelario is hardly a surprise. He came in at #2 overall as the top position player on MLBTR’s recent update to our Top 50 Deadline Trade Candidates, with both the Marlins and Angels known to have interest in his services. SNY’s Andy Martino also reported today that the Yankees have interest.
It’s not hard to see why Candelario has drawn such interest, as has paired excellent third base defense with a 121 wRC+ in 98 games this season. In addition to his quality defense at the hot corner, Candelario also has experience in the majors at first base. With Cody Bellinger now off the trade market, that makes Candelario the likely best player available at both infielder corners. Speculatively speaking, the Giants, Diamondbacks, Brewers, and Astros each could use help at the infield corners.
Rizzo also discussed the availability of right-hander Kyle Finnegan and outfielder Lane Thomas, who clocked in at #37 and #41 on our Top 50 Deadline Trade Candidates list, respectively. Bowden relays that Rizzo indicated Finnegan has drawn interest from other clubs ahead of the deadline, and it’s easy to see why. Finnegan is controllable through 2025 and has been a solid arm in the Nationals’ bullpen since he made his big league debut in 2020. Finnegan’s career 3.35 ERA and 4.10 FIP are right in line with his 3.07 ERA and 4.17 FIP in 44 innings of work this season as the Nationals’ top option for closing out games.
Thomas, who is under team control through the end of the 2025 season, has slashed a solid .286/.333/.474 in 104 games this season with a wRC+ of 116 while swiping 12 bases in 14 attempts, is not a player Rizzo appears particularly inclined to move, with Bowden relaying that the impetus to move Thomas would be help at a position of greater need than the outfield, where the club sports top prospects James Wood, Robert Hassell, Dylan Crews, and Elijah Green.