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

A's trade Doolittle in 5-player deal with Nationals

A's trade Doolittle in 5-player deal with Nationals

They've had seven different players pick up saves for them this season.

The Washington Nationals acquired right-handed pitcher Ryan Madson and left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle in exchange for right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen, Minor League left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo and Minor League infielder Sheldon Neuse.

This is pretty simple.

As reliable as he has been for the Nationals, Treinen played a major role in the team's bullpen struggles. As such, the A's portion of the deal looks good on paper. The bad news is that those two may not be enough to get them over the top in the playoffs. He will likely be used as a setup man for the A's this season. He has been a closer in Philadelphia as well, so he brings ample closer experience to the situation. In 2014, he posted a 2.73 ERA and had 22 saves.

The A's opted for Santiago Casilla as their closer this season, but Madson has pitched well, compiling a 2.09 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.

For Madson, it's a return to the NL East where he spent the first nine years of his career with the Phillies from his debut in 2003 through 2011, the last of which he spent as closer, racking up 32 saves.

Doolittle has had some injury problems this season, but has been effective when healthy. On the season, he is 1-0 with three saves and a 3.38 ERA (8 ER/21.1 IP). Madson is signed through next season at $7.67 million. "They both have had arm problems, so it could be both of them". The long ball has been a big issue for their bullpen, allowing 46 home runs this season which is tied for fifth-most in baseball but are allowing home runs on a MLB-worst 4.1 percent of plate appearances this season.

Luzardo, 19, was rated as the Nationals 10th best prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) and was selected in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft but lured away from a Miami commitment with a $1.4 million signing bonus. Neuse is a decent third base prospect now in A ball. Neuse, a third baseman, was batting.291 with an.818 OPS for Class A Hagerstown this season.

Luzardo is 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA in three starts with GCL Nationals this year. Still, it's awfully early and there is still a ways to go.

"I think our approach now is to try and get the best players, period", Beane said. They may absorb the money in their current roster as players like Yonder Alonso are due significant raises or a long-term contract.

Madson and Doolittle are under contract through 2018. This is huge for the Nats because if Doolittle gets injured or tired, Madson is able to step in and close.

Per a Ken Rosenthal report on Saturday, the Nationals are working to "trying to acquire" two of the Oakland Athletics' relievers.

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