3. Washington acquires two relievers to bolster their bullpen.
Whether or not the Washington Nationals can make a true postseason run in 2019 is going to come down to one thing, can their bullpen be just mediocre? So far the Nationals’ bullpen has been the Achilles heel of their 2019 ballclub, blowing many leads and being largely considered one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball.
Recently though, things have changed. The Nationals as a whole have started to play much better baseball offensively and defensively, and the bullpen has pitched so much better. Since May 31 the Nationals bullpen leads Major League Baseball with the lowest bullpen E.R.A. Yes, the same Washington bullpen who had a collective E.R.A. around seven at the middle of May has done a complete 180.
Manager Dave Martinez has improved in the management of his bullpen, and Wander Suero and Tanner Rainey have become his go-to late inning guys. Despite their recent success, it is hard to imagine the Nationals truly competing for the postseason with this group of bullpen arms.
Due to this, the bullpen is the one spot it seems like Washington must upgrade this trade season if they are to compete. Unlucky for the Nationals, all of baseball seems to be having bullpen struggles, and the market for relievers is going to be very competitive this July.
With this being the case, don’t look for Washington to go after any “big fish” relievers on the market, but they likely will try to make some under-the-radar moves to improve the pen. Names like David Hernandez, Liam Hendriks, Greg Holland, Jake Diekman, and Francisco Liriano are ones to keep in mind while the Nationals search to improve the worst part of their team.
They won’t be splashy moves, but Washington will acquire two bullpen arms to help them make a run at the postseason down the stretch of this 2019 season.