3 – Washington Nationals get Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson (2017)
Although this deal was done only a year ago, it’s likely already the Washington Nationals best buy at the trade deadline. They revisited their old habit of trading with the Oakland Athletics to get Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle.
Doolittle has gone on to be a huge fan favorite in D.C. with his performances on the field as well as being an incredible influence off the field.
In 88 games with the Nationals, the left-hander has a 2.23 ERA and has converted 46 of his 49 save opportunities. He also made it to the All-Star Game in 2018 to cap off a fantastic first 12 months with the team.
The second acquisition in the deal, Ryan Madson, has had a very Jekyll and Hyde time with the Nats. In the second half of 2017, he was lights out. He gave up just three runs in 20 appearances and was a key piece along with Doolittle to solidify a shaky bullpen.
However, in 2018 he has been much less effective. At the time of writing, he has a 4.54 ERA and a high 1.51 WHIP. In fairness, he has only given up runs in eight of his 42 appearances, which is certainly workable.
The one knock on this trade so far is the price that they had to end up paying for the two relievers.
Blake Treinen was struggling for the Nats in 2017. Appointed the closer before the season, he quickly lost the role, posting a 5.73 ERA, with a .320 batting average against in 37.2 innings. However, since moving to Oakland, he’s thrived to the tune of a 1.48 ERA converting 40 of 48 save opportunities.
Jesus Luzardo at the time was a solid left-handed pitching prospect. But now he’s establishing himself as one of the best lefty prospects in the game. And finally, Sheldon Neuse is some nice organizational depth at Triple-A for now.
But, the Nationals in the same situation would make this trade again 10 times out of 10. The bullpen needed that addition of reliable arms, and they’ll be able to live with how the pieces going back the other way have performed.