On the surface it would look like the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays are in the same spot as they were back in July. That is, the Nationals want BJ Upton, but are firm in what they are willing to give up. And the Rays are willing to give up Upton, but they are firm in what they want for him (shortstop Ian Desmond).
But Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wonders if the game has changed a little since since July. And maybe now, both sides may be willing to loosen their stances a little. Speaking with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo seemed to suggest that is what is happening…
“What would be different from previous conversations would be whether there was a change in their scenario or a change in our scenario,” Rizzo said. “Injuries sometimes can cause that. A breakout season from a prospect at that position, now it becomes a position of depth. Those are the kind of things that would change the landscape of the trade discussions from the end of the season until now.”
Kilgore goes on to note that the Nationals are now high on another young shortstop (Stephen Lombardozzi), and the Rays are obviously happy with the way Desmond Jennings played in the second-half. And even though the demands from both sides are the same, the grips of each team may have loosened.
Unfortunately for the Rays, the Nationals may be the only team bidding on Upton, as interest in the Rays center fielder has been described as “mild.”