Nats may improve bench before trade deadline

Nats may improve bench before trade deadline
July 27, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is approaching the 2013 trade deadline much like any other. Even with an underachieving team, he doesn’t believe the Nationals need to mortgage their future to win in the short term. 

With that in mind, don’t expect the Nats to make any big time splashes before Wednesday. Even though a starting pitcher could be useful, the asking prices around the league may to be too high.

Rizzo did, however, acknowledge one area of need the Nats may address via trade.

“If we could tweak or improve certain spots on the bench, I think that would be one place that we would attack,” he said.

The Nats already made a move to improve their bench in acquiring outfielder Scott Hairston on July 8 from the Cubs for a minor league pitcher. But Hairston hasn’t made much of an impact thus far, going 2-for-16 with a walk and a strikeout in nine games with Washington this season.

The Nats remain one of the youngest teams in the majors and any move they make will not be at the expense of the core of their roster. 

“We’ve got ourselves a pretty talented group of guys that we’re committed to and we like where we’re at,” Rizzo said.

Rizzo on Davey Johnson’s job security

With Davey Johnson offering up his job in lieu of hitting coach Rick Eckstein when the latter was fired last week, Mike Rizzo talked about the prospect of moving on without the veteran skipper on Saturday. Rizzo said he never took Johnson’s offer seriously and has no intention of replacing him this year.

“There is no chance that he won’t be the manager until the end of the season,” Rizzo said.

Rizzo went on to describe he and Johnson’s relationship as “great” and said there is no serious friction between them after letting go of Eckstein, whom Johnson was a vocal supporter of. 

“I love Davey and respect him, and I think he feels the same way,” Rizzo said.