Why Nats should trade Soriano

The Nats didn't need Rafael Soriano in 2012, but several other contenders could use him in 2013. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals were supposed to be one of baseball's best teams. They led the majors in wins a year ago, and this year, they were going to have a full season of both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, plus they added Dan Haren to fill out their rotation, Denard Span to lead off and Rafael Soriano to save games in the ninth inning. On paper, they looked like a team with few holes.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

Harper got hurt, Haren has been terrible, and pretty much every role player the Nationals were counting on has taken a step backward. The result is that they currently sit at 36-36, six games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race. As they head for the trade deadline, they'll almost certainly be looking to boost their offense in order to make a strong push for at least a wild-card spot and give them a better chance of running down Atlanta, but I have another suggestion: They should trade Soriano.

This is not to say that I think the Nationals should give up on 2013 season and start playing for the future, but I do think they can make themselves better for 2014 without really harming their chances of winning this year by using Soriano as a trade chip.