News Worms
News Worms


Nats Working to Trade for Pair of Oakland Relievers

Nats Working to Trade for Pair of Oakland Relievers

Washington Nationals reliever Blake Treinen has been traded to the Oakland Athletics, along with pitcher Jesus Luzardo and third baseman Sheldon Neuse, for relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Those numbers, combined with Washington's recent postseason history of dramatic bullpen meltdowns, have made adding relievers a priority in the nation's capital. Doolittle's ERA is higher than Madson's at 3.38, but his FIP is 2.35 and he has an outstanding 31:2 K:BB in 21.1 innings. The Nationals interest in numerous relievers has intensified the last few weeks, and we can now add two more to that ever growing list. On June 23 at Nationals Park, Strasburg allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings in a no-decision vs. Cincinnati.

In three career starts against the Nationals, Feldman is 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA, 16 strikeouts and eight walks in 18 innings.

But Doolittle's legacy in Oakland is largely about what he and his wife, Eireann Dolan, did off the field. This year, he is their eighth-inning pitcher with good results.

Madson, meanwhile, was also very effective out of the bullpen, going 2-4 with one save and a 2.06 ERA in 40 games.

Doolittle, 30, has yet to allow a hit to a left-handed batter in 23 appearances this season.

Though the A's bullpen as a unit has had similar struggles this season to Washington's, Madson and Doolittle were not complicit in those struggles. As for Doolittle, he's so dominant against lefties that it's hard to envision Baker reserving him exclusively for ninth-inning use when there's sure to be tough lefty hitters who need to be retired in earlier innings. Madson saved 30 games for the A's past year and Doolittle made the 2014 All-Star team as their closer.

A reliable member of Oakland's bullpen the last two seasons - and Kansas City in 2015 - Madson led the Athletics and ranked ninth in the American League with 30 saves in 2016. In 2011, he saved 32 games for the Phillies, while striking out 62 batters in 60.1 innings. Injury issues are an issue as he missed 41 days this year with arm issues. Unfortunately, while both have closer experience, neither profile as a playoff tested closer type. That means the Nationals are picking up the entire contracts of both Madson and Doolittle, which lessened the return for the A's. After a decent season as the Athletics closer previous year, Madson returned to the mound in 2017 in a setup role behind Santiago Casilla.

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