Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/25/13

Trade talks have really started to heat up since the All-Star break. As the Nationals are continuing to struggle, they will need all the help they can get before the July 31st trade deadline. And as it seems postseason hopes and diminishing more and more each day, the Nationals organization need players who can help them win next season too, not just necessarily at the end of this one. One player who has been making a lot of buzz recently is pitcher Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox. He is being eyed heavily right now by the Cardinals and Red Sox, but would make a solid fit in the National’s starting rotation. He is 7-4 this season, and in 73 innings pitched has 69 strikeouts and a 4.19 ERA. But with Peavy pushed into the spotlight, the Nats might not be able to make a trade compelling enough for the White Sox to give him up. Another pitcher who would fill a crucial gap is Bud Harris of the Houston Astros. Harris would be a great end of the rotation guy, and can fit Manager Mike Rizzo’s mold for someone he calls a “rental player.” Another pitcher whose name is being thrown around is Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers. He will be a free agent in 2015 and despite his disappointing season this year his numbers in his previous seasons are impressive. He is 8-8 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.42 WHIP this season, which he would tell you is a disappointing line. He has thrown more than 200 innings in a season just twice, yet he has a streak of four straight years with at least 200 strikeouts. He has punched out roughly a batter per inning for his career. A pitcher like Gallardo is a young guy with almost no wear and tear, he could have a long and successful career. He looks to be the one who can help the Nationals out the most. What seems to be the Nationals’ problem is that they have good players at every position, they just can’t seem to get anything going. Their lineup is full of pitching stars: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman could only go two innings on Sunday and gave up seven runs in the Nats’ loss to the Dodgers. Strasburg went seven innings on Friday but his two earned runs given up lead to the team’s loss. But with that said, sometimes the best thing to do in that situation is work with the pitchers you have. Give your starting pitchers time to improve and succeed, don’t give up on them right away. Give these new pitchers a spot in the bullpen, and let them prove they can earn their place in the starting five.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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