The non-waiver trade deadline has passed and it appears the Nationals are staying intact. Given the team's performance this summer, there were times in which I thought there might be a few more mumblings on the rumor mill followed by a few changes come the end of July. But as I've continued to watch this team over the course of season, this might be the best thing for them.
Washington is quiet clearly invested in maintaining its core group players who they'll continue to develop over time. The majority of the roster consists of young guys who haven't hit their ballplaying primes yet. Would it have been nice to have some fresh faces in the clubhouse? Maybe. But honestly, it may have ended up doing more harm to the team's chances to work their way back up in the standings than it would've helped.
The 2012 Nats had a clubhouse chemistry that was felt on and off the field but the 2013 Nats are lacking that sense of hutzpah. Outfielder Bryce Harper mentioned it when speaking with MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko by saying, "It all starts with having good camaraderie in the clubhouse, having an upbeat clubhouse every single day, having an upbeat manager and staff every single day, no matter what."
By not making any big changes to the roster, it seems to me that general manager Mike Rizzo did his team a favor. This Nats team needs to work together to create that positive atmosphere Harper was referring to. That's what has to happen. No more distractions, come together as a team, and play to their potential - that's what the Nationals have to do if they want to be a contender again.
Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation's capital as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.