WASHINGTON — Mr. National supports the trades made by Washington this past week during the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman said it wasn't a "total surprise" and expressed agreement with Washington Nationals management about the team needing a "restock" to contend in the playoffs again.
"You can see where we were as far as our record, as far as our chances, things like that. So it wasn't a total surprise for us," said Zimmerman.
During the MLB trade deadline, the Nationals traded away, starting pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trae Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers. General Manager Mike Rizzo also traded closer Brad Hand (to Toronto) and Kyle Schwarber (to Boston) on Thursday, sent reliever Daniel Hudson to San Diego early Friday, then moved catcher Yan Gomes and infielder Josh Harrison to Oakland. Pitcher Jon Lester was dealt late to St. Louis.
“We got everything about of this group that we could have gotten out, and we reached the highest levels,” Mike Rizzo said. “For 10 straight years, we’ve competed with the best and brightest in baseball. We were as good as anybody in the game. We won four division titles, we’ve been in the playoffs five times, we won a World Series with this group. There’s no shame in having to take a step back.”
The Nationals acquired 12 players in their deals, most notably catcher Keibert Ruiz and right-hander Josiah Gray from the Dodgers.
The 36-year-old said that fans shouldn't expect a long rebuild by the team and that he is excited about the young talent that can help the team get back to contending for World Series.
"I think we'll be heading back that way sooner rather than later," said Zimmerman. "One of the coolest things about playing here for as long as I have is the ownership group. And Mike and those guys put a team on the field every year where you legitimately had a chance to win the World Series."
Washington was not the only National League team to trade off notable players. The Chicago Cubs traded away Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.
While the Nationals did all of their deals over the last two days before the deadline, the Cubs telegraphed their willingness to make moves when sending Joc Pederson to Atlanta on July 15.