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

Ross Houston
July 17, 2017

Doolittle has multiple years left on his contract, at affordable rates each season too. To save us all some time, here's a brief snippet on both. What exactly will Madson and Doolittle bring to the beleaguered Nats' bullpen? Doolittle has pitched in 23 games and has a 3.38 ERA with three saves and 31 strikeouts. This season's numbers are outstanding.

Treinen started the season as the Nats closer but fell out of favor quickly. The hard-throwing sinkerballer led all Major League relievers in coaxing double plays from his opponent in 2016 with 17 and entered Sunday's game ranked second in MLB for the 2017 season in that category. He's also already 22 years old, so he should be productive at that level.

Neuse and Luzardo are both considered top-10 prospects in the Nationals' farm system. His fastball now sits in the mid 90s, and he has excellent command of great offspeed pitches. Luzardo is in his first season as a professional at 19. He was terrific. But it's often nice, if at all possible, to get guys who will be with you for a while. "I think the slider has been big for him". Oh man, it's so much better. Doolittle's health history isn't as predictable.

Second: The Lerners finally ponied up. Madson, who is earning $7.5 million this season, is under team control through next season at $7.5 million, and Doolittle is on a five-year, $10.5 million extension that runs through 2018 with two club options. His 51 RBIs are the most by any player with as few as 213 at-bats, making his acquisition one Cincinnati's shrewdest moves. The Washington Post has reported that the team considers Victor Robles, Erick Fedde, Juan Soto, and Carter Kieboom as untouchable in trade talks.

When Sonny Gray is traded by the Oakland Athletics (15 days and counting, for you calendar whores), the longest-serving Elephants will be, as you well know, shortstop Marcus Semien and catcher Josh Phegley, the two enduring pieces of the 2014 Jeff Samardzija dump job. Along with Daniel Johnson, Rafael Bautista, Drew Ward, and others, the Nats have a boatload of prospects who could be used to acquire another reliever.

Nagged by the worst relief pitching in Major League Baseball, the Washington Nationals added help Sunday by obtaining right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics.

This might require dealing or releasing Blanton or Kelley, though the problem can be avoided if another reliever gets injured or Kelley remains on the DL until September. Keeping them and ultimately keeping the faith and commitment from people who follow the team, that's got to be done by keeping them around.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, Doolittle and Madson have their own serious injury concerns. Madson is 36 and missed three full years trying to come back from Tommy John surgery.

Although he was shocked when he walked into Melvin's office and received the news, Doolittle said he was excited for the opportunity to pitch for a team that has a chance to contend for a championship this year.

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