The Nationals do not want to give up top outfield prospect Victor Robles in a trade for Andrew McCutchen, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post writes.
They are discussing a deal for Andrew McCutchen with the Pirates, but do not want to concede Victor Robles in that deal either, that person confirmed.
Reports have swirled all week about the Nationals chasing both players, and those reports are true. The Nationals have, indeed, discussed both all-stars with their respective teams. They have not, however, indicated a sudden willingness to part with their best prospects to get them. If Washington had, it would almost already have one or both players.
Short of infielder Trea Turner -- who the Nats also reportedly don't want to give up -- or starter Lucas Giolito, Robles is probably the best low-service-time asset the Nationals have, so McCutchen trade talks could be tricky if they're not willing to include him.
The Pirates could, therefore, turn elsewhere. The Dodgers have shown interest in McCutchen lately, Jon Morosi tweets. If the Dodgers get heavily involved in the bidding, perhaps that could encourage the Nationals to reconsider. Unfortunately, it sounds like the Dodgers don't want to give up their top prospect, Cody Bellinger, either.
Heard rival execs describe him in trade talks as if not untouchable, then someone the Dodgers would very much prefer not to be touched. https://t.co/kNBycQMQL4— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) December 5, 2016
Bellinger is a left-handed first baseman who hit very well for Double-A Tulsa at the age of 20 last year. Of course, any or all of this could be posturing at this point. It's hard to say.