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Nationals GM Reportedly Being Pressured by Ownership to Sell ahead of Trade Deadline

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Just days after Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals were making a push for the playoffs and not ready to sell it appears the club’s ownership has other thoughts. According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Nats owners, the Lerner’s, are pushing Rizzo to sell ahead of MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline.

According to Rosenthal, Rizzo does not share the same thoughts of ownership and the Nats’ four-game series with the Miami Marlins will be critical to the team’s mindset of approaching the trade deadline — the Nats won Thursday’s game against the Marlins by the score of 10-3.

Washington is 51-51 on the season and are 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the second NL wild card spot. Seven teams, including the Braves, are ahead of the Nationals in the wild card standings.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports the Nationals have contacted clubs to gauge the interest of soon-to-be free agents, Kelvin Herrera, Shawn Kelley, and Ryan Madson in the event the club begins selling.

The Nationals have a payroll of $151 million with their star Bryce Harper among several roster players that could be free agents this winter. It’s believed Harper will seek a massive new contract that could be worth as high as $400 million. If, the team has any chance of re-signing him at his asking price, they may need to shave some cash off their payroll and with the team struggling to compete this season, selling may be the best option.

It’s hard to argue any team that’s been more disappointing than the Nationals this season. They have struggled with injuries and consistency with first-year manager Dave Martinez. When it appears the team gets healthy there’s a new injury that surfaces. On Thursday, co-ace Stephen Strasburg (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day disabled list for the second time in two months.

With one win down and gaining a game on the Braves, the Nationals are fighting for their season this weekend. Daniel Murphy, Gio Gonzalez, Mark Reynolds and Matt Adams join Harper, Herrera, Madson as potential free agents at the season.

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