In his weekly spot on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies last Wednesday, GM Mike Rizzo assured the hosts and the listeners that the Nationals’ brass was not content with the current state of Washington’s bullpen, which has been a problem from the start this season.
“We’re trying to find ways to remedy it,” Rizzo told the Junkies.
“We’re trying to fix things from internally, of course we’re looking outwardly, and it’s something that was not unexpected. We saw this coming into the season, we tried to make some moves in the offseason. We tried to acquire some of the elite closers, we didn’t get them, and so now we have to keep looking.”
“It’s a tough situation,” Dusty Baker told reporters this week, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“I know [general manager Mike Rizzo] is addressing it. But for now, nobody is going to give you anything. Or if they give you something, they’re going to rob you for it.”
FanRag’s Jon Heyman spoke to someone with ties to Washington for an article this week, and reported that the “Nats person” told him it wasn’t just a closer the Nats were targeting.
“We don’t need just one big reliever, we need two,” the source said.
In his latest Full Count video on Sunday morning, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal put two names out there as potential targets for the Nationals:
“Madson, who is earning $7.5M this season and next season, will be far easier to get at this point. The A’s are certain to sell.
“The Tigers, on the other hand, entered Saturday just two games out in the race for the second Wild Card. If they do sell, Wilson will be in demand by any number of contenders. He’s earning $2.7M this season and is under control for one more year after this one.”
Wilson, 29, avoided arbitration when he agreed on the 1-year/$2.7M for 2017, and he’s put up a 2.67 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 11 walks (3.67 BB/9), 39 Ks (13.00 K/9) and a .175/.259/.361 line against, saving five games in 28 appearances and 27 innings of work out of the Tigers’ bullpen.
Madson, 36, signed a 3-year/$22M deal with Oakland in late 2015 that covers 2017-2018.
He’s saved just one game this season, after saving 30 for the A’s in 2016, while he’s put up a 2.73 ERA, 2.68 FIP, six walks (2.05 BB/9), 28 Ks (9.57 K/9), and a .217/.265/.313 line against over 26 1⁄3 IP.
Santiago Casilla is currently handing the ninth for the A’s, and Wilson was named the Tigers’ closer last month after Francisco Rodriguez blew a five saves early this season.
Would the two relievers solidify the back end of the Nationals’ bullpen?
Would you keep Koda Glover, when he returns from the DL, as the closer and fill in with new relievers in front of him, or add someone specifically to close out games and move Koda into a 7th-8th inning role?