Having acquired relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s The Sports Junkies last Wednesday that while he would continue to consider potential improvements to the bullpen, most of the “heavy lifting” was done after the latest in a long line of deals with the A’s.
“I think that we’ve done most of our heavy lifting for the trade deadline,” Rizzo said, “but that’s not to say that if there’s a value that we feel can help us that we wouldn’t be aggressive like we always are and attack that and try to improve ourselves.”
In the immediate aftermath of the trade with the A’s, Joe Frisaro, who covers Miami at MLB.com, reported that the before acquiring Madson and Doolittlte, the Nationals discussed a trade for both Marlins’ closer A.J. Ramos and now-former Fish reliever David Phelps, who has subsequently been dealt to the Seattle Mariners.
USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale wrote on Twitter today that the Nationals remain interested in Ramos, 30, who has 19 saves this season, with a 3.86 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 20 walks (4.82 BB/9), 46 Ks (11.09 K/9) and a .199/.310/.331 line against in 37 1⁄3 innings.
In his latest comments about the Nationals’ bullpen, Rizzo told reporters in Arizona on Sunday that he would continue to consider potential upgrades.
“I think we’re going to continue to do our due diligence,” Rizzo said, as quoted by The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes, “... and if something appeals to us that makes sense, we’ll consider it.”
At least one member of the Nationals’ roster, Bryce Harper, told reporters on Saturday that he hoped the deal for Doolittle and Madson wasn’t the last the Nats make before next week’s non-waiver deadline.
“Madson has been great for us,” Harper said.
“Doolittle — to come over and see him do the things he’s been doing, he never panics, that’s great to see. It’s a lot of fun to have a back end like that, possibly, hopefully get one more guy in that pen, and have a three-headed monster.”
The Nationals are reportedly reluctant to part with any of their top prospects like Victor Robles (who was promoted to Double-A today), Juan Soto or Erick Fedde.
Would they be able to pry Ramos away from the Marlins for some of their less well-regarded minor leaguers? Detroit Tigers’ reliever Justin Wilson is reportedly still a target as well. Would the Nationals be better off adding a right-hander or a lefty at this point?