Ladson's source, however, is not sure whether the Nationals would give Chen the five-year deal he is looking for.
Chen may prefer to stay in the D.C.-metro area, after spending the past four years of his career just north of the District in Baltimore.
The Nationals are in need of a revamped starting rotation. Jordan Zimmermann already signed with the Tigers in free agency and Doug Fister is soon to follow.
Chen would add some much-needed balance to a Washington rotation that is quite top-heavy. After Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, the Nationals have Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Joe Ross to round out the starting staff. Chen would be a good No. 3 starter that would add depth.
Chen's market has been considerably quiet as of late, but the Royals, Cardinals, and Cubs have all been connected to the lefty who is reportedly seeking a five-year, $100 million deal.
The 30-year-old went 11-8 with a 3.34 ERA and a 153 to 41 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 191 1/3 innings pitched. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 2.8 Wins Above Replacement.