Let's cut to the chase.
The Nats have the money and the prospects to pick and choose what reliever they want. Do they want Aroldis Chapman? They can get Aroldis Chapman. Do they want... I don't know... Tyler Thornburg? They can get Tyler Thornburg. There is nothing stopping the Nats other than what seems like the small chance of a possible outbidding by another team.
What does this mean? It means that on August first, when we look up and see who the Nats have on their team and probably most importantly, in their bullpen, it means this is who the Nats chose to go into battle with.
Now perhaps by "the Nats" we don't mean everyone in the organization. The team is a chain, and first and foremost it is run how the owners want it to be run. Next is Rizzo, who has shown over several years he can put together successful teams. Then it's Dusty, a winner as a manager riding a first year out 1st place season, much like Davey did in 2012 or Matt did in 2014. It's possible, given that chain, that Dusty won't get what he wants, or Rizzo won't get what he wants. It's not possible though that the Lerners don't get what they want.
I bring that up because I want to remind you that the Nats payroll this year is 20 million less than last year. This is why I say, "they have the money". This shouldn't be a make the other team eat salary situation like nearly every Nats trade in the past for a veteran at the deadline has been. There is no need. But that is assuming the Lerners are ok spending that much. Remember this is a group that told us they were "topped out", that made last year sound like a singular season in terms of money into the team. Things can change, sure, but it's something that we have to be aware of.
There's a brilliance in spending less and letting the assumption that it would be spent at the trading deadline run through the fanbase. You could have a bad season and be so far behind that trading for a high-price FA makes no sense, which means you don't have to spend more money. You could have a great season and be so far ahead that trading for a high-price FA makes no sense, which means you don't have to spend more money. You can call-up all your young talent to help the team and if they perform in that short while you can convince yourself you don't need to trade for a high-price free agent, which means you don't have to spend more money.
The Nats are not so far ahead that they can simply run with what they got. They are close, but not there yet. They are trotting out young players. Many in the fanbase hope it's for a trade, but it may not be. It may be getting them ready for important roles down the stretch. If the Nats roll this way that's fine. But remember that when Reynaldo Lopez or Felipe Rivero are staring down Brandon Belt instead of Andrew Miller, it was the Nats choice. They deserve all the credit if it ends up working, and all the blame if it doesn't.