In addressing the make-up of the Washington Nationals' bullpen after last week's trade that sent Tyler Clippard to the Oakland A's in return for Yunel Escobar, Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier that as hard as it would be to replace what Clippard provided, there were a number of power arms and a few potential replacements already in the organization.
"It opens the door to the Blake Treinens of the world and the Aaron Barretts of the world to take the next step in their progression of their career and take more leverage innings," Rizzo said.
"We feel that it's a place of depth and strength for us, is power arms," Rizzo explained. "Not only at the big league level, but filtering up through the minor leagues, and a place that although it will be difficult to replace a Tyler Clippard, we think that we have the personnel and the depth to really put together a championship-caliber bullpen."
"We think we're going to be a really good bullpen," he said at another point, "and something that National League teams aren't going to want to face."
Rizzo didn't, however, rule out any further roster additions in a post-trade conference call.
"'We’re not ruling out adding anymore personnel via trades or via free agents or minor-league free agents,'" Rizzo told reporters including NatsInsider.com's Chase Hughes.
"'We’re still a month away from the start of spring training and, believe me, we’re not taking any vacations or anything like that."
Even after adding Max Scherzer to the rotations on a 7-year/$210M deal, there are still rumors out there that the Nats are in the market for a bullpen arm.
#Nationals also looking for bullpen help. Have checked in on Casey Janssen, others.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 18, 2015
Janssen, 33, saved 25 games for the Blue Jays in a +0.1 fWAR season in 2014, posting a 3.94 ERA and a 4.14 FIP in 50 games and 45 ⅔ IP, walking seven (1.38 BB/9) and striking out 28 (5.52 K/9).
That came after a 34-save, +1.3 fWAR campaign in 2013, though, in which he put up a 2.56 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 13 walks (2.22 BB/9) and 50 Ks (8.54 K/9) in 52 ⅔.
The right-hander suffered from food poisoning last July, however, and he put up a 6.46 ERA and a .299/.343/.526 line against after the All-Star Break.
Badenhop, 31, posted a 2.29 ERA, a 3.08 FIP, 19 walks (2.42 BB/9) and 40 Ks (5.09 K/9) in 70 ⅔ IP for the Boston Red Sox, pitching for his fourth major league team in seven seasons and finishing the year at a career-best +1.0 fWAR.
Belisario, 31, posted a 5.56 ERA, a 3.54 FIP, 18 walks (3.44 BB/9) and 47 Ks (6.38 K/9) in 62 games and 66 ⅓ in a +0.5 fWAR season with the Chicago White Sox after spending the previous four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Do the Nationals need a backup closer with some experience in case Drew Storen falters?
Do they have enough arms in the organization with the likes of Treinen and Barrett along with Craig Stammen, Matt Thornton, Jerry Blevins, Xavier Cedeno, Matt Grace, Erik Davis (at some point), Eric Fornataro, Felipe Rivero, A.J. Cole, Rafael Martin, Heath Bell and others to fill any holes from within?
The big question though: Do any of the free agents and potential bullpen options wear goggles?