Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo reported last week that a second wave of players had been put on and passed through waivers as the Washington Nationals go through the yearly process before the August 31st waiver deadline.
Gio Gonzalez, Matt Wieters, and Ryan Zimmerman all reportedly cleared waivers, so they can now be traded at any point now, and earlier this week (8/28), veteran reliever Ryan Madson was placed on waivers as well, after returning from a DL stint for a back issue.
With the necessary caveats about all players being placed on waivers at this point in the season, there are some intriguing possibilities if the Nationals are going to try to get any value in return for some pending free agents.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi wrote on Twitter this week that there is interest in Gonzalez, the 32-year-old left-hander who’s playing out the final year of a 5-year/$42M extension he signed with the Nationals after they acquired him from the Oakland A’s in late 2011.
Teams are calling, but will the #Nats deal lefty Gio Gonzalez before Friday's trade deadline?@jonmorosi has the latest on the market for Gio, Josh Donaldson and more. #MLBCentral pic.twitter.com/SNhMyY5lfx— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 29, 2018
That deal included a club option for $12M in 2018 that vested when he reached 180 IP in 2017, but with his performance this season, and the Nationals unlikely to extend the left-hander a qualifying offer (which was worth $17.4M last winter), will they consider trading him to a team with a need for help in their rotation since they won’t receive any draft pick compensation without making a qualifying offer?
“I do think that the interest has picked up in Gio to the point that a trade is very possible,” Morosi said in an appearance on the MLB Network.
“In fact, I was told that among current Nationals’ players,” Morosi added, “Gio is generating the most interest.
Morosi listed the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Milwaukee Brewers as teams with a need in their respective rotations.
Would the A’s, who placed two pitchers on the DL this week consider a reunion with the southpaw?
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo and the Athletics have a long history of working out deals, but San Jose Mercury News’ writer Martin Gallegos wrote this week that while pitchers like Gonzalez and Andrew Cashner, “figure to be available up to the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline ... there has been no indication that the A’s are interested in either.”
Morosi, in that MLB Network spot, also mentioned the Los Angeles Dodgers as potential suitors for Madson, hours before there were reports that the veteran reliever was, in fact, claimed:
#Nationals’ Ryan Madson claimed on revocable waivers by unknown team, sources tell The Athletic.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 29, 2018
Rizzo addressed the rumors of interest in Gonzalez and Madson earlier this morning, before the news on Madson being claimed, offering a quick response when asked if either or both might ended up getting traded on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies.
“Gio passed through waivers so he’s eligible to be traded to anybody,” Rizzo said. “Madson is on waivers now so we can’t comment until we find out who has claimed him, if anyone has claimed him, or if he’s gone through. Again, same trade strategy as ever. If we can get the right deal at the right time that helps us in ‘18 and beyond we’ll certainly be open-minded to do something.”
UPDATE: Of course it was the Dodgers who claimed Madson...
The Dodgers, who had interest three years ago when he was a free agent, put in a waiver claim for Nationals reliever Ryan Madson, according to a baseball source. Madson just came off the DL with lumbar irritation.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 29, 2018