Washington Nationals Acquire the Bullpen Help They So Desperately Need

by Steven Clarke July 20, 2017, 0:09
Washington Nationals Acquire the Bullpen Help They So Desperately Need

The Nationals get two important pieces to help their ailing bullpen, and Doolittle could even fill the closer role, which has been filled by committee thus far.

The Nationals, 54-36 and leading the National League East division by 9 1/2 games, sent Oakland right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen and two developmental-level players, left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo and third baseman Sheldon Neuse.

Madson has a 2.06 ERA this season and 86 career saves as a reliever so he'd be the most likely player to close with Doolittle potentially setting him up. He offers a phenomenal 31:2 K:BB and should provide a steadying presence in high-leverage situations - perhaps with some save chances - for the Nationals moving forward.

The Nationals bullpen needs assistance as the team has blown 14 saves on the season.

Rosenthal added it's "unclear" if the Nationals "will require cash in deadline deals and give up better prospects in exchange, as they have done in past". He works off a pair of mid-90s fastballs that he complements with his trademark changeup and curveball.

Madson is owed the rest of his $7.5 million for this year and is expected to make $7.5 million next year.

FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reported in June the Nationals could also be interested in the San Francisco Giants' Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Tony Watson, Kansas City Royals closer Kelvin Herrera or Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson. This is huge for the Nats because if Doolittle gets injured or tired, Madson is able to step in and close.

Treinen has a big arm that he uses to pump upper-90s sinkers.

Madson had 30 saves in 2016 while Doolittle has 36 saves during his six major league seasons, 22 of them in 2014 when he was an American League All-Star. Treinen will become arbitration eligible this winter, though his payouts should remain modest because of his lack of saves. He is in his second year of Single-A ball and he is batting.291 this year. Despite his lack of experience, MLBPipeline.com had Luzardo ranked as Washington's No. 10 prospect.

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