Nats pull off 2 more deals before Deadline

July 31st, 2021

WASHINGTON -- With time winding down before Friday's 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, the Nationals finalized dealing three more veteran players in exchange for prospects and young talents.

First, Washington packaged catcher Yan Gomes and utility man Josh Harrison to Oakland for a trio of Minor Leaguers: catcher Drew Millas (ranked as the A’s No. 28 prospect by MLB Pipeline) and right-handers Seth Shuman and Richard Guasch.

Then, the Nationals traded southpaw Jon Lester to the Cardinals for outfielder Lane Thomas, who has three years of Major League experience.

“I'll miss these guys, but we'll have a special bond, especially the guys that were here in ‘19,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Even the new guys, the J-Hays, Jonny Lester, we go way back, they'll be missed.”

A's get: C Yan Gomes, UTIL Josh Harrison
Nationals get: C Drew Millas, RHPs Seth Shuman and Richard Guasch

Cardinals get: LHP Jon Lester
Nationals get: OF Lane Thomas

The switch-hitting Millas was a seventh-round Draft pick of the A’s in 2019, when he was considered the best defensive college catcher. Millas, 23, hit .255 with 34 runs, 28 RBIs, 12 doubles, three homers and 10 stolen bases with the High-A Lansing Lugnuts this season. He is ranked as the Nationals’ No. 24 prospect.

Shuman, 23, was selected by Oakland in the sixth round of the 2019 Draft. This season, he is 2-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 62 strikeouts over 56 innings in 13 games (11 starts) of High-A ball.

Over 13 games with Lansing, Guasch was 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 54 frames across 13 games (nine starts). He was considered by Baseball America to have the best slider in the A’s Minor League system, and he has experience competing for Cuba’s 2017 Pan-American team. Guasch rounds out the Nationals’ Top 30 Prospects list.

Thomas played in 32 games for St. Louis this season (.104, one RBI, 10 walks, two stolen bases). In 2019, he became the 10th player in Cardinals history to homer in his first big league plate appearance.

Gomes, Harrison and Lester were the final pieces in a Trade Deadline overhaul that saw Max Scherzer and Trea Turner go to the Dodgers in a blockbuster deal, Kyle Schwarber to the Red Sox, Daniel Hudson to the Padres and Brad Hand to the Blue Jays. These moves brought the Nationals’ Trade Deadline total to 12 players acquired (10 joining the ranks in their Top 30 Prospects, per MLB Pipeline) in exchange for the eight veterans.

Gomes, a member of the 2019 World Series championship team, was tasked with catching the majority of the games in his 10th season following the departure of Kurt Suzuki in free agency. The 34-year-old hit .271 with 35 RBIs, nine home runs and 11 doubles for the Nats this year.

Harrison, 34, provided defensive versatility all over the field while playing with high energy and enthusiasm in his second season with the Nationals. He batted .294 with 38 RBIs, six homers and 23 doubles.

Lester, 37, signed with the Nationals this winter to round out their starting rotation in his 16th Major League season. He was 3-5 with a 5.02 ERA, and he heads to St. Louis four wins shy of the 200-victory milestone.