Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson Traded to Nationals for Blake Treinen, Prospects

Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson Traded to Nationals for Blake Treinen, Prospects

The Washington Nationals have had one of the worst bullpens in the league this season, but they have finally made a trade to attempt to fix it.

Athletics acquired 3B Sheldon Neuse, RHP Blake Treinen and LHP Jesus Luzardo from the Nationals in exchange for LHP Sean Doolittle and RHP Ryan Madson. 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 conversations that we had with Oakland for a couple of weeks, it kind of focused in on one of the relievers and then, in the later moments a day or so ago, it morphed into a bigger deal when we expanded the deal to add both of the Oakland relievers", Rizzo explained.

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Though Doolittle is several years removed from his 2014 All-Star campaign, he has pitched well over the past two seasons. He had a 3.62 ERA and 30 saves last season for the Athletics.

Treinen, 29, had a career-worst 5.73 ERA, 0-2 record and three saves in 37 games this season for the Nationals.

Doolittle has multiple years left on his contract, at affordable rates each season too. He's also been death on lefties, who are 0-for-23 with 12 strikeouts against him this season.

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Madson is owed the rest of his $7.5 million for this year and is expected to make $7.5 million next year. It appears the days of watching a terrible Nats bullpen could finally be behind us. Matt Chapman, who entered with extra-base hits in each of his last four at-bats, walked to end his own seven-pitch battle preceding a Jaycob Brugman seven-pitch single the other way, chasing home two and ushering Bauer into an early departure.

If you squint your eyes just so, you could fool yourself into believing that the Madson/Doolittle deal is the remedy for Washington's late-game letdowns. By mid-April, manager Dusty Baker took Treinen out of the closer role, intending to use Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover depending on match-ups. Doolittle has experience as a closer, but has also missed significant time in recent seasons because of various injuries. Although he is capable of retiring any hitter, he is exceptionally tough on lefties. This isn't 2016, when Chapman, Melancon and Andrew Miller all changed teams prior to the trade deadline. In 2014, he posted a 2.73 ERA and had 22 saves. Instead, it's 2017, and like it or not, David Robertson of the White Sox is pretty much the cream of the crop.

The Nats' major need addressed, Rizzo said he would pay close attention to any opportunities to better his ballclub. He's under contract through 2018 at minimum, and his contract includes a pair of team options that could keep him in town through 2020.

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