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Report: Nationals’ top prospects off-limits in a deal for Aroldis Chapman

It’s been apparent for quite some time that the Washington Nationals are reportedly interested in acquiring Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, but much like the Chicago Cubs’ latest credo, a deal for New York’s back-end relief won’t come at the expense of top prospects.

According to national baseball writer Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the Nationals will push for Chapman prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, supposedly placing four of its top-five prospects off-limits in negotiations.

On Monday, Svrluga reported that Yankees scouts were in Syrcause last weekend to watch Washington’s Triple-A affiliate, and traveled to the nation’s capital on Tuesday to watch Nationals’ right-hander Reynaldo Lopez make his major league debut.

While George King of the New York Post believes that Lopez could be a target for New York, Svrluga’s latest details make the 22-year-old seem untouchable, but of Baseball America’s top-five list of Washington’s prospects, 2014 first-round pick Erick Fedde is available.

On July 14, Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke with ESPN’s Buster Olney on potential landing spots for Chapman, suggesting D.C. as a new temporary home.

Nightengale: I think the Nationals got Arolids Chapman written all over them. I mean, Chapman and Dusty Baker were close, the assistant GM Bob Miller had Chapman with the Cincinnati Reds. I think it’s a perfect fit, a short-term fit, and they’re gonna do something. I think they’ve got a chance too, to win the World Series, but they’re missing that one big bullpen piece.

Chapman, who becomes an unrestricted free-agent this winter, told reporters earlier in the week that he hopes to re-sign with the Yankees during the offseason. The 28-year-old lefty has recorded 19 saves and 40 strikeouts in 28.1 innings.