Washington’s Nationals announced this afternoon that they acquired right-handed reliever Kyle Barraclough from the Miami Marlins in exchange for international slot value, adding a hard-throwing, controllable, 28-year-old arm to the mix in their bullpen.
Barraclough is coming off what was in the end his worst season so far in the majors, which saw him put up a 4.20 ERA, a 4.98 FIP, 34 walks (5.50 BB/9), 60 Ks (9.70 K/9), and a .194/.325/.350 line against in 55 2⁄3 innings (.172/.308/.299 vs lefties; .215/.341/.396 vs righties).
Acquired in 2015 from the St Louis Cardinals (in return for reliever Steve Cisek), Barraclough earned $1.113M in 2018, and according to MLBTraderumors.com’s projections the right-hander, who’s up for arbitration for the first time, is expected to get a raise to around $1.9M in 2019.
Barraclough joins a bullpen that is being rebuilt for the 2019 campaign after the Nats parted ways with veterans Shawn Kelley, Ryan Madson, and Brandon Kintzler this summer and got a good look at what young relievers like Wander Suero, Jimmy Cordero, and Austen Williams had to offer.
To this point in his major league career, Barraclough has a 3.21 ERA, a 3.45 FIP, 5.52 BB/9, and 11.48 K/9 in 218 2⁄3 IP.
His velocity was down this summer to an average of 93.6 MPH (according to Fangraphs) after he’d thrown around 96+ mph in his first two major league seasons and dropped to around 94 in 2017.
In their press release on the acquisition this afternoon, the Nationals noted that since the start of the 2016 season, Barraclough ranks 11th among NL relievers in opponent slugging percentage (.295), 12th in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (11.53) and 14th in opponent’s batting average (.198), and though his numbers overall were underwhelming last season, they do mention that he managed to put up, “... a 0.99 ERA (4 ER/36.1 IP) through his first 37 appearances, holding opponents to .085 batting average (10-for-117) and a .162 slugging percentage (3 2B, 2 HR) over that span.”
Thoughts on the first major roster move of the offseason for GM Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office?