Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted that the Washington Nationals are one of the teams in on the Mark Melancon sweepstakes
As we are a couple days away from the start of the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland, the Washington Nationals will have plenty of needs to address. One of those needs is at closer, where the rumors are starting to come fast and furious surrounding the big three (Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon).
This afternoon, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted that the market is starting to heat up on Melancon with the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants being a couple of teams in the mix. As Crasnick points out, the Giants are trying to get Melancon while the Nats look to make the big splash trade for either Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen or White Sox ace pitcher Chris Sale:
More from District on Deck
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Robert Hassell III
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- 3 Free Agents the Nationals Should Gamble On
Chapman, Jansen, and Melancon are most likely going to break the record for the highest contract signed by a reliever, which currently belongs toJonathan Papelbon
(four years, $50 million in 2011 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
As Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Fanrag Sports tweeted yesterday, the Nats like Melancon over Chapman because it won’t cost them as much and for how he pitched with the organization last season after being traded to D.C. at last year’s trade deadline.
While Melancon is going to get a lot of money, the price to get a premium closer is going to be high as teams continue to try to build dominant bullpens. Considering the Nats will probably not spend a ton of money on Chapman or Jansen, Melancon is the ideal fit for the franchise. Last season, he was 17-for-18 in save situations with the Nats and had a 1.82 ERA (one save in the postseason).
When you look at the reported strategy by the Giants, this is a smart move by their front office. With the Washington Nationals trying to make a big splash via trade, they are trying to grab an elite closer and they need it after blowing 29 saves during the regular season last year.
Right now, the biggest need for the Washington Nationals is at closer. If they are unable to get one of the big three, that would put even more of an emphasis on trying to improve an already strong rotation. Time will tell if the Nats are able to get Melancon to stay in Washington D.C. for the foreseeable future.