Nationals: Three Former Players Washington Should Go After

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 28: Greg Holland #56 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after saving a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 5-4. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 28: Greg Holland #56 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after saving a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 5-4. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Mark Melancon
Mark Melancon #43 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after a victory against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on October 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Mark Melancon

In 2016, the trade deadline was coming up and Washington was in the driver’s seat for the NFC East. Needing a closer, the Washington Nationals traded for Mark Melancon who settled in nicely in the nation’s capital. In 30 games with the Nats, Melancon went 1-1, with a 1.89 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and a 2.07 FIP, while going 17 for 18 in save opportunities. Unfortunately, Melancon left in free agency to sign with the Giants on a four-year deal worth $64 million. Melancon never flourished with the Giants, battling injuries and inconsistencies. After two and a half years with San Fransisco, they shipped him out to Atlanta where a change of scenery helped him immensely. In a year and a half with the Braves, Melancon went  3-1, with a 3.30 ERA, 14 strikeouts, and a 3.72 FIP, while going 22 for 24 in save opportunities.

At the age of 35, Melancon’s time as an elite closer has come to an end, but he is still a dependable reliever. Washington’s bullpen lacks consistency, with Tanner Rainey being the only true constant. Melancon would immediately add another late innings option who can thrive in high-pressure situations. Melancon does not strike out many, instead, he flourishes with his high ground ball rate. Opposing hitters also struggle to square him. After Daniel Hudson and Will Harris, both took a step back in 2020, Washington will need another solid option in the bullpen.

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