Bowden doesn't expect to deal vets
GM focused on bolstering offense throughout Nats' system
WASHINGTON -- Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said it's doubtful that he will trade his veteran players before the Trade Deadline on Thursday afternoon.
With the exception of right-hander Tim Redding, the rest of Washington's veterans don't have much trade value. The Nationals are trying to deal players such as infielders Ronnie Belliard and Felipe Lopez and catcher Paul Lo Duca, but all are having subpar years.
The Nationals have made one deal thus far, sending reliever Jon Rauch to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Minor League second baseman Emilio Bonifacio on July 22."
"For the most part, there isn't much of a market," Bowden said, referring to his veteran players. "Rauch was our one marketable player that we traded. Look, we are a last-place team. A lot of them are underachieving. That's not surprising."
One opposing scout, who saw the Nationals recently, said Wednesday that Redding would be the best pickup off the Major League roster.
Indeed, Nationals pitchers -- especially young ones in the Majors and Minors -- are attractive to other teams. Bowden declined to mention the hurlers that teams want, but a baseball source said Jason Bergmann, Garrett Mock, Ross Detwiler and Adrian Alaniz have been mentioned in trade discussions.
It's not a secret that Washington needs hitters in the Majors and Minors. Bowden said he's willing to do prospect-for-prospect deals in order to get what the organization wants.
"Other clubs we are talking to are all coming after the Minor League system and our young players on the big league level," Bowden said. "The discussions have been a little different. I'm not sure if we are going to do anything by tomorrow, but we'll keep working on it."
Redding also is a valuable pitcher for the Nationals, though it's unclear if he will be dealt. Entering Wednesday's start against the Phillies, Redding was 7-5 with a 3.98 ERA. Bowden pointed out that Redding has become a leader of the rotation and one of the reasons the starting staff went from a weakness to the team's biggest strength.
"In our position, we have to sit there and listen to everybody," Bowden said. "We'll explore everything possible. Ideally, you want to trade veterans for young kids. That's the normal blueprint. With the exception of the Rauch deal, that's not going to happen because we have veteran guys who have underachieved."
Bowden did not rule out trading some of the veterans after the Trade Deadline, although any players involved would have to clear waivers.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.