5. SEAN DOOLITTLE
With the Oakland Athletics about to hold yet another purge of talent, Sean Doolittle is one of two possible closers Washington may find available.
The lefty made the 2014 AL All-Star squad as a closer, but has 11 saves on the stat sheet since. Coming off an injury, Doolittle has a WHIP of 0.689 in 20.1 innings with an impressive 5.3 H/9 ratio.
His control is immaculate. Averaging 12.8 K/9, Doolittle’s tossed two walks to 29 strikeouts. His 3.54 ERA is nothing to write home about, but those control numbers are downright gaudy.
Four times since returning from injury a month ago, Doolittle retired the side on under 10 pitches. A whopping 74 percent of his pitches are strikes. As Sammy Solis struggles to regain his form, the Nats could use another lefty to match Romero to use as a setup pitcher.
His lack of closer experience—along with San Diego’s Brad Hand—gives reasons for pause. On the plus side, he costs virtually nothing and has team control via options through 2020. For a team on a tight budget, Doolittle is a bargain.
Whether he is the missing championship piece remains to be seen. If the Nats trade for two bullpen pieces, he is potentially a huge asset.