Despite winning 97 games a season ago and entering 2018 as heavy favorites in the NL East, the Nationals enter Tuesday's slate seven games out of first place and on pace for just 82 wins. That is to say, the Nats have thus far been perhaps the most disappointing team in baseball.
Given the depths of that disappointment, GM Mike Rizzo is faced with two options -- add veteran talent at the deadline in the hopes that the team plays up to its level or cut bait and undertake a 2016 Yankees-style pivot. Insofar as the former is concerned, here's a juicy one from Jon Heyman:
Nats have talked to the Reds. Matt Harvey and Raisel Iglesias are of interest to nats, who are seeking another starter. Multiple teams see Iglesias as possible starter.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 3, 2018
The Nats' rotation behind ace Max Scherzer has been inconsistent of late, and No. 2 guy Stephen Strasburg has been on the DL since June 8 with shoulder inflammation. That explains their interest in adding starting pitchers.
As for the names involved, Matt Harvey has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance since being traded from the Mets to the Reds in early May. On Cincy's watch, Harvey has pitched to a 3.86 ERA/106 ERA+ with a 3.33 K/BB ratio in 10 starts. Along the way, Harvey's shown improved velocity and a sharper slider. While Harvey's ace days are almost certainly gone for good, the strides he's made since leaving the Mets look sustainable. He's in his walk year.
As for Iglesias, the 28-year-old right-hander has been a highly effective reliever since being moved into the role in June of 2016. In 131 career relief appearances, Iglesias has a 2.44 ERA and 3.15 K/BB ratio. As Heyman notes, though, the Nationals may have Iglesias in mind as a starter. Speaking of which, Iglesias came up as a starter, and his third pitch is a changeup.
On the Reds' side of things, flipping Harvey is a no-brainer, but Iglesias isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. Given that the Reds are trending upward (they've won 15 of their last 20), Iglesias could certainly be a part of the next relevant team in Cincinnati. Trading him away may not be such an easy call.