A letter to Nationals fans from Mark D. Lerner

August 21st, 2018

Dear Nats Fans,
At the trade deadline, we faced an honest challenge of sticking with the roster and believing play would improve, or making moves for the future. We gambled at the deadline, I admit it. We believed that the talent was still there, and that we would just need inspired play and a few lucky breaks. The decision then was driven by heart and our desire to give this team every opportunity to turn the season around. We believed we were a few wins and a few breaks away from making a turn in the season, a few games from making a run for the top.
When something isn't working, you evaluate the situation and take the necessary steps to improve it. You don't just stand by, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, in this case, that means making very tough decisions about our roster.
I believed in this team, and would have loved to see them all play healthy together this season. However, the time has come for us to make decisions that will bolster our roster for next season and beyond. This is about giving us some roster flexibility, giving us the opportunity to see some of our young talent, and seeing if we can still find a combination or two that could spark a difference.
These are incredibly tough decisions for us to make. We see the players on this team as part of our family.
Daniel's performance since joining our club has been phenomenal. On a personal note, Daniel is one of my all-time favorite Nationals. I love the way he played the game and his enthusiasm is contagious. Arguably the top free agent signing of the 2015 offseason, Murphy represented our team in the 2016 and 2017 All-Star Games, took home two Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger awards (2016, 2017) and finished second in the 2016 National League Most Valuable Player voting.
Matt Adams was such a great addition to our team this year. He was a solid contributor, providing value off the bench as well as the starting lineup wherever needed. Matt is the consummate professional and we wish him the best in St. Louis.
We know that this is not easy for our fans -- to see a player that you have been rooting for day in and day out suddenly shipped off to another team. But -- at the end of the day -- we have to do what is best for the overall health and well-being of the ball club.
The good news is this is not a rebuilding effort. We have a lot of talent on our roster - from seasoned veterans to enthusiastic young guys. And Mike Rizzo and his team will be busy during the offseason making sure we have all of the pieces necessary to come back and be competitive next year.
Most importantly - our goal has not changed - we want to bring a World Series trophy home to Washington, D.C. I truly believe the actions we are taking now will strengthen the franchise and keep us in the position of being a perennial contender.