April 23, 2018

Nationals Beef Up ML-Worst Bullpen In Trade With A's

17 July 2017, 05:33 | Taylor George

Washington Nationals Acquire Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle From Oakland Athletics

Sean Doolittle working against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Oakland Calif. The Washington Nationals acquired Doolittle and reliever Ryan Madson from the Oakland

On June 23 at Nationals Park, Strasburg allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings in a no-decision vs. Cincinnati.

The team with the worst bullpen in baseball improved Sunday when the Washington Nationals traded with the Oakland Athletics for two relief pitchers. "He really identifies with the fan base so it's tough to lose guys like that". For the kid who fell in love with baseball the Coliseum when he was 4 years old, getting drafted by the Oakland was a dream come true.

Oakland is in obvious sell mode and they may not be done yet as ace starter Sonny Gray has been generating lots of interest around the league. "I'm super grateful for the opportunity the A's gave me, allowing me to transition to pitching".

Infielder Sheldon Neuse and left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo are expected to be the Oakland prospects in the deal, according to Rosenthal. Neuse is a decent third base prospect now in A ball. Luzardo, who underwent Tommy John surgery previous year, has three starts in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He was a seventh-round pick in 2011 and was traded to Washington in a three-team deal that netted the A's John Jaso in 2013.

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After whiffing on the big three of Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon in free agency last winter, the Nats initially anointed the unproven Treinen, who quickly proved that, good as he was in setup duty past year, he wasn't ready for prime time.

Treinen, along with Liam Hendriks and Daniel Coulombe are expected to fill the late-inning roles that are vacated by Doolittle and Madson. Then there's Doolittle, who was an All-Star closer in 2014, when he saved 22 games for the A's. For the season, he has a 3.38 ERA, 0.656 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 21.1 innings, and he has saved three of his four attempts. He's also been death on lefties, who are 0-for-23 with 12 strikeouts against him this season. Washington could probably stand to add more bullpen depth for the middle innings, but Madson and Doolittle will go a long way toward shoring up the biggest weakness on a team that now looks poised to battle the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL pennant this October. "There are no hard feelings". Madson has a 2.06 ERA and a 2.43 FIP in 39.1 innings in 2017. Madson is also signed for next season.

Incidents such as Saturday night, when Austin Adams and Trevor Gott combined to give up six hits, two walks and seven runs without recording a single out, only make matters more hard.

A grizzled veteran at 36, Madson will put the Nats over the competitive balance tax limit by himself.

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