WASHINGTON -- Everyone, from general manager Jim Bowden to team president Stan Kasten, acknowledges that the Nationals need to get quality bats into their Minor League system.
How do they get the bats? The team suddenly has a plethora of pitching to trade, especially by next year. Assistant general manager Bob Boone said the Braves are an example of how teams can trade top prospects for a top hitter.
Before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Braves general manager John Schuerholz acquired first baseman Mark Teixeira and pitcher Ron Mahay from the Rangers for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, infielder Elvis Andrus and pitchers Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones. Teixeira was the offensive piece the Braves were looking for during the pennant race.
"Schuerholz pulled a great deal to get Teixeira," Boone said. "It was a big cost for legit prospects, but the only reason Atlanta could do it was because they have the development system with quality people that other people want. That's the only way you make trades. The way it looks, that's true in the industry. It's going to be harder and harder to buy those guys. You are going to have to do it via trade, and you have teams who are coveting their prospects."
Injury report: Manager Manny Acta said reliever Jesus Colome (soft tissue infection in his right buttocks) is expected to be back with the Nationals before Sept. 1. In fact, Colome is expected to pitch back-to-back games this weekend at Triple-A Columbus.
Schedule change: The Nationals' final home game of the regular season, against the Phillies on Sept. 23, will begin at 12:05 p.m. ET instead of 1:35 p.m.
Coming up: The Nationals open a three-game series against the visiting Mets on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Washington has won four of nine games against New York this season.
In the opener, Washington left-hander Matt Chico will face New York left-hander Tom Glavine.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.