Nationals bolster bullpen with A's relievers Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle

Paola Ditto
Luglio 17, 2017

Washington has already blown 14 saves this season.

Madson, meanwhile, was also very effective out of the bullpen, going 2-4 with one save and a 2.06 ERA in 40 games. On June 23 at Nationals Park, Strasburg allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings in a no-decision vs. Cincinnati.

In addition to being an elite reliever, Doolittle has an extremely team-friendly contract. The icing on the cake in his contract is the fact that he has club options in 2019 and 2020, so if for some reason the Nats decide they don't want him anymore, they can decline his option.

Doolittle, 30, was originally selected in the 1st round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics and broke into the majors in 2012 as a reliever.

A 36-year-old right-hander, Madson has a 2.06 ERA and is seventh among relievers in hits plus walks per inning at 0.79. Unfortunately, while both have closer experience, neither profile as a playoff tested closer type.

Rizzo said he wasn't sure when Madson and Doolittle would be joining the Nationals.

Rizzo has often favored an experienced closer, and Madson provides one who is plenty familiar with getting the final three outs of a game. In 2014, he posted a 2.73 ERA and had 22 saves. They got what they wanted - some young players and Treinen - and I hate to give up Treinen, but you have to give up something to get something.

Nationals closer Koda Glover converted eight of 10 save chances but has not pitched since June 10 because of severe inflammation of the rotator cuff.

Though Doolittle is several years removed from his 2014 All-Star campaign, he has pitched well over the past two seasons. His use of his triple-digit sinker, paired with a fastball, slider, and change-up is almost unhittable when he is on.

Treinen, a former Athletics prospect, has struggled out of the Nats pen for most of 2017.

Pointing to the Chicago Cubs and their model of developing players "organically" over the years, Beane said the A's are looking to set up a similar structure for what could ultimately pay off with a World Series title run like the Cubs put together in 2016.

Left-hander Jesus Luzardo and infielder Sheldon Neuse were sent to Oakland as part of Sunday's deal. Neuse was a second round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft and was ranked No. 6 in the Nationals' system.

Brugman, making his first start of the second half after dealing with illness - losing more than four pounds in two days - said it took each of the seven pitches to find his timing.

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There's about two weeks until the Major League Baseball trade deadline.

Even though the entire Nats bullpen has been a train wreck since Day 1, the caboose of said train wreck - the shiny red thing at the end that sticks out above and beyond the rest of the mess - has been the closer.

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