Washington Nationals: Power ranking the closer trade targets

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Roberto Osuna
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Roberto Osuna /
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The other half of Oakland’s daily double is Ryan Madson. Last year’s closer for the Athletics, he is setting up this season for Santiago Casilla.

Madson has found success since coming back from injury. First as a member of the dynamic championship Kansas City Royals bullpen in 2015 and again this year, he has a sub-2.20 ERA with a WHIP under 1.000. This season’s 0.804 is a career best.

His control is excellent, walking 1.4 per nine this season. His 5.8 H/9 impresses on first glance. Balls stay in the yard too as two have left in 37.1 innings this year.

However, there are three red flags with Madson.

When closing for Oakland last year, his ERA and WHIP climbed while his control failed. The Nats cannot afford to throw someone into the toughest job in the non-government part of the city without having absolute faith in doing the job.

He is not a strikeout pitcher. Although you can be effective pitching to contact, not having that killer instinct to shut down teams with stuff is a bigger factor in October.

Also, he would put the Nats over the competitive balance tax threshold as Madson is under contract in 2018 for $7.67 million.

He can be had, and makes an interesting duo with Doolittle, but there are better options on the board.