FanRag’s Jon Heyman had previously reported that he spoke to someone with ties to the Washington Nationals who told him it wasn’t just a closer that the Nats and GM Mike Rizzo are after right now as they try to fix the problems in the Nationals’ bullpen.
“We don’t need just one big reliever, we need two,” the source said.
Over the weekend, 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.”
This afternoon, Heyman was back with another report on some other potential targets for Rizzo and Co. in the Nats’ front office, writing that the, “... Nationals will, as everyone knows, seek a big-time closer, with ex-Nat Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Kelvin Herrera and of course David Robertson among those on their list, according to sources.”
Will the Nationals, who reportedly were willing to go to four years, but less than $60M before Melancon, 32, signed a 4-year/$62M deal with San Francisco that included a $20M signing bonus, be willing to take that contract off the struggling Giants’ books?
Would Watson, 32, who lost in arbitration and is making $5.6M on a one-year deal, but currently has a 4.45 ERA, a 5.36 FIP, 10 saves, 2.23 BB/9, and 7.24 K/9 give the Nationals what they need in the bullpen?
Heyman notes that the Kansas City Royals are taking a cautious approach with their team right now, so Herrera, 27, who is currently making $5.325M on a one-year deal after he avoided arbitration, and has a 4.50 ERA, a 4.66 FIP, 1.50 BB/9 and 9.00 K/9 with 17 saves, is not currently available.
Robertson? Will the Nationals and White Sox FINALLY agree on this deal for the 32-year-old reliever that everyone has thought was inevitable for a year or more now?
Through 23 appearances, the White Sox’ right-hander has 11 saves, a 3.20 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 2.84 BB/9 and 13.14 K/9 in 25 1⁄3 IP.
Heyman also mentions the Blue Jays’ Robert Osuna and Rays’ Alex Colome as relievers of interest though he notes that the Nationals see Toronto or Tampa Bay as unlikely to trade their relievers, and suggests that the Nats might want to take another look at Miami Marlins’ reliever A.J. Ramos.
With Wilson, 29, who avoided arbitration when he agreed on the 1-year/$2.7M for 2017, and has put up a 2.96 ERA, a 3.50 FIP, 3.95 BB/9 and 12.84 K/9 in 27 1⁄3 IP and Madson, 36, who signed a 3-year/$22M deal with Oakland in late 2015 that covers 2017-2018 and has a 2.54 ERA, a 2.81 FIP, 1.91 BB/9 and 8.89 K/9 in 28 1⁄3 IP, that’s a pretty long list of options for Rizzo and the Nationals to consider as they seek to fix what ails their bullpen.