Today the Seattle Reign dealt two third round draft picks (a 2014 and a 2015) to Boston for holding midfielder Mariah Nogueira. Nogueira was a rookie and the 13th overall draft pick last season out of Stanford, and she played nearly every game for the Breakers, who finished fifth last season.
Getting a potential every game player for third round picks is probably a pretty good deal, but at first glance it's a little odd. Holding midfielder is definitely not a position of weakness for Seattle. In fact, with Keelin Winters, Jess Fishlock, and Kate Deines (when she plays midfield), the Reign already have one of the deepest defensive midfields in the league.
So this may be a signal as to how that lingering trade with Chicago will turn out. You'll remember that just before the start of last season, Seattle acquired Winters from Chicago for their 2014 first round pick (which will turn out to be the second overall and probably a very good player) and a future US national team player in this offseason. Given the fact that there's no way the team would move Solo or Rapinoe, that player-to-be-named was always likely to be Amy Rodriguez or Winters herself. Perhaps it was structured that way because there was some question as to whether Rodriguez would come back after her season off to have a child.
And if Seattle is acquiring a holding midfielder, that may be a signal that Winters is the one moving to Chicago. Which may itself be a sign that we're likely to see Rodriguez next year. That's some NWSL Kremlinology! And if it is Winters, it means we traded a second overall pick for a year's rental of a defensive mid, which is a pretty bad piece of business — partially made up for by the relatively low price for Nogueira.
Regardless, this and the previous acquisition of Carmelina Moscato are likely only the beginning of some significant offseason moves to transform the Reign from cellar dwellers into playoff contenders next season.