Ranking the best trade targets for the 2015 Red Sox rotation

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6. Jordan Zimmermann

Oct 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Jordan Zimmermann

(27) pitches in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in game two of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have no reason to trade Zimmermann. Again, he outshined the flashier Stephen Strasburg, leading the Nats to October as the team’s true ace. But I have a hunch. Whenever teams have this much young talent in sports, eventually some of it inevitably gets forced out. With Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister and Tanner Roark rounding out the rotation behind Zimmermann and Strasburg, the Nats certainly do not want in the pitching department. So clearly they must be compensating for a lackluster offense, no?

Alas, the Nats have Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond to complement two of the brightest young hitters in the game in Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper. Now, perhaps I am looking too far down the road, but the team is already dealing with concerns that they may lose Desmond to free agency and Werth, LaRoche and Zimmerman are nearing the end of their careers.  Problematic now? No. Down the road? Almost certainly. They also lack the in-house solutions to fix their offense from within, with a farm system whose clear strength is pitching.

Which leads to the last point before I form my conclusion. With Lucas Giolito and to a lesser extent A.J. Cole rapidly approaching, does this team really still need Jordan Zimmermann? I don’t believe so, and I think that eventually he will be moved for a bat. That being said, Gio Gonzalez would not be a bad consolation prize if the team does decide to keep Zimmermann. I could be jumping the gun on this one, but my instincts tell me it could be in the works in due time.