Nats need to be dealing

But they're just one of four teams that should make a deal before the deadline

Updated: June 2, 2014, 12:53 PM ET
By Paul Swydan | ESPN Insider

Ryan ZimmermanChuck Myers/MCT/Getty ImagesEven with Ryan Zimmerman set to return, the Nationals need to add to their team.

Each season, a number of teams end up stuck in the middle. The teams that can clearly navigate themselves out of that middle are often rewarded, but the teams that do nothing (looking at you, Philadelphia Phillies) often just remain trapped in their mediocrity. As the July 31 trading deadline begins to appear at the horizon of our road trip through the season, there are four teams that should be looking to be buyers. Here they are, plus lists of the players each should be targeting.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals are in one of the most difficult positions a team can find itself in. They are a team without obvious holes that hasn't performed up to expectations, and they don't have the kind of farm system that looks to cure any wounds, either. Certainly, the Nationals didn't expect to be in third place this deep into the season, and perhaps they wouldn't be if Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper had been healthy.